A new Swiss initiative supporting health care launched

Local news, 23.02.2016

In a ceremony gathering relevant health stakeholders, the Swiss Cooperation Office and the Ministry of Health launched the implementation of the Accessible Quality Healthcare project. With a focus in Primary Health Care, this project aims to strengthen the health care system with a specific focus on the quality of care provided and the access, for the population in general, but in particular for the more vulnerable communities.

AQH Launch event
From left to right: the Minister of Health Dr. Imet Rrahmani, the Director of the Center for Development of Family Medicine Dr. Genc Ymerhalili, the Ambassador of Switzerland in Kosovo Mrs. Krystyna Marty Lang, the AQH Project Director Dr. Manfred Zahorka, Swiss TPH Kosovo Ministry of Health

The Minister of Health Dr. Imet Rrahmani and the Ambassador of Switzerland to Kosovo Mrs. Krystyna Marty Lang in the presence of partners and stakeholders of the health sector launched the implementation phase of the Accessible Quality Healthcare Project (AQH), a project designed to support the implementation of the health sector reforms, complementing other donor-supported programmes in the health sector.

The Minister of Health Dr. Imet Rrahmani thanked the Government of Switzerland and the Swiss taxpayers for this significant support to the implementation of the health reform agenda. He stated that the project arrives at a very important moment, when all the human and political potential is oriented towards strengthening the health services and increasing their quality.

The Swiss Ambassador Mrs. Marty Lang stated that this project is an important component of Switzerland’s support to the implementation of the health sector reforms. She added that the project aims to stimulate use of quality primary health care services by all Kosovo citizens, by strengthening the gatekeeping role of PHC. This project has been designed during a 10-month inception phase using a consultative process engaging key stakeholders from community, facility, municipal and ministry levels. This process was important to ensure that the initiative responds to the real needs of the system and its stakeholders and that it adds value to already existing or planned initiatives of local institutions and other donors.

The AQH project aims to improve the health of the population of Kosovo by strengthening the capacity of healthcare providers and managers so that they are able to meet the needs of their patients, focusing especially on meeting the needs of vulnerable groups. It has a focus on the Primary Health Care (PHC) level and operates in the triangle of:

  • improving the quality of service provision, reducing access barriers and making services more responsive to patients’ needs – a provider component;
  • strengthening service integration at municipality level through improved management, stronger inter-sectoral collaboration, increased effectiveness and greater accessibility of health services– a management component;
  • promoting an active patient role, influencing health seeking behaviour and promoting healthy lifestyles at population levels – a population component.

During this 4-year period (2016 – 2019) the 7 million CHF project will work with 12 municipalities to develop systems and processes that can later be rolled-out to other municipalities, and will be implemented through local and national institutions and communities. The project is implemented by a consortium comprising Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute and Save the Children.