Albania has the lowest public health spending in the European region. Many patients bypass primary health care and overcrowd hospitals, especially in larger cities. In addition, non-communicable diseases are increasing at an alarming rate. Therefore health promotion, prevention of diseases and improved primary health care services are a top priority for the country (Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, 2016).
Example from practice: Health for All Programme
The Health for All Programme is supporting the core reforms currently underway in Albania including professional development, health governance and financing, and decentralisation of services and functions. Based on needs assessments the programme intervenes to improve infrastructure in primary public clinics in the regions of Dibër and Fier in Albania. Essential equipment is provided to in cases when these are not covered by the national health system or the Ministry of Health. Furthermore, the programme is building capacities of 200 doctors and 1,000 nurses working at primary level in these regions. Lastly, from the viewpoint that health Promotion enables people to increase their health literacy and improve their own health; the project supports the establishment of a national strategy on health promotion including a specific focus on reaching out to the most vulnerable groups using a bottom-up approach to ensure solutions are inclusive. Civil society organisations are involved in health promotion and activities that provide a voice and empower those who feel marginalised by the health system (Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, 2016).
Research on health literacy in Albania