Together For Life NGO presented on Friday in Tirana the project "Patients' rights in the judical system", which will be implemented in the districts of Dibra and Lushnje. In this meeting with the participation of representatives of the Ombudsman, local officials of the two municipalities, doctors, civil society, journalists and students, the project director Arlinda Shehu presented the main goals.

"Our goal is to teach patients how to pursue their rights in the judicial system. We want to include women, children and vulnerable groups. The project we are launching today is not intended to attack the Ministry of Health, hospitals, health centers, courts or the people who work in them. The project aims to encourage citizens for the rights they have in the health system ", said Shehu.

During the meeting, the director of Together For Life Eglantina Bardhi said that there are still shortcomings in terms of dissemination of information from the health system.

"Improving the system is in everyone's interest. We have worked hard in Tirana and the goal is to go outside the capital. We made an observation in the Health Centers of Tirana and it turned out that 80% of them did not have the Patient Rights Charter posted. I think we need to increase the reaction to the institutions in the country. "If this happens, there will be results", concluded Bardhi.

Legal framework

The presented project will start implementation in the coming weeks. Andi Muratej, legal expert at TFL, told the audience some concrete cases which have been won as court cases against health institutions. Muratej invited participants to present concrete cases of patients who have not received health care.

"In April of this year, the Administrative Court of First Instance in Tirana announced a decision in favor of a patient. In addition to the amount of 6.8 million ALL, the patient has acquired the right to service. This and other cases won in court are concrete examples that show us that when we are not provided with proper health care, as patients we have the right to go to court ", concluded Muratej.

Thalassemics in Lushnje,

The high number of thalassemia patients in the city of Lushnja was another point discussed during the project presentation. The Head of Department of Public Health in Lushnje, Pjerin Vogli, said that despite the awareness campaigns that have been made, there is still need for blood reserves.

"We have worked with awareness campaigns for blood donation. We have had collaborations with schools, the police station, the prison, the hospital staff and the local government. However this is not enough. "We need a lot of blood," said Vogli.

The same problem was raised by the directors of 2 health centers in Lushnje, while emphasizing the fact that doctors experience psychological violence at work.

"As a result of the lack of medication, many patients ask for more information. In this case the doctor has nothing in hand, it is the Fund and the Ministry that decide which medication will be refund andwhich will not. As a result of such cases doctors are violated. One of the reasons for the doctors leaving is their psychological violence. The doctor used to be an idol, but he is no more. We should all work together to increase the figure of the doctor ", said Mejreme Dervishi, director of the Health Center no. 2 in Lushnje and a doctor by profession.

In the same line was the director of the Health Center No. 1 Lushnje Athina Doka. Patients' blood needs, she said, are not being met. In Lushnje, only patients with thalassemia are 168, while in the same hospital are treated patients from other cities.

Another issue was raised by the representatives of the hospital and the Municipality of Dibër. According to them, the hospital lacks specialist doctors, while also many diseases are not treated in that institution.

"Despite the efforts of doctors, there are many diseases that definitely require intervention in Tirana. Dedication is not lacking, but there are many times when we cannot do everything. The intervention from Tirana is needed ", concluded doctor Lleshi.

There were numerous discussions about the distrust of citizens in health system when they donate blood. Many in attendance expressed doubts that their blood could be mismanaged. Another point of discussion was the delays that patients encounter when seeking to schedule a consultation with the physician. At the end of the meeting, representatives from the municipalities of Dibër and Lushnje offered their support to "Together For Life" during the implementation of the project "Patients' Rights in the justice system", as part of the project "Involvement of civil society for a functional system and equal justice for all in Albania ”, which is funded by the European Union and implemented by Save the Children and the Center for Integrated Legal Services and Practices.

** This article was produced by "Together for Life" within the project "Patients' rights in the justice system", as part of the grant scheme of the project "Involvement of civil society for a functioning and equal justice system for all in Albania ”, funded by the European Union and implemented by Save the Children in partnership with the Center for Integrated Legal Services and Practices. The contents of this material are the sole responsibility of Together for Life and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union, Save the Children and the Center for Integrated Legal Services and Practices.