The painful story of a mentally-ill person, who is left at his fate’s mercy only because he could not go to see the physician in order to benefit the caretaking payment. None of the health institutions has offered any support to the 50 year old man, Skënder Myrta, who passes the days alone in a ruined hut in Portez, in Fier.
By Arben Velo
Being abandoned by all, the 50 year old man, Skënder Myrta, is passing his days alone in a ruined hut few meters away from the Fier city. Somewhere, among the cottages beautifully built in Portez village in Fier, there is a hut with ruined walls, with no tracks of a roof, within which lives since few months ago, Skënder Myrtaj, a mentally ill person. He stays all the time lying in an improvising bed with tiles and rotten woods, waiting for the support of the state institutions, which has not arrived to him yet. The situation, in which he lives, is very clear. He did not go to see the physician and due to this reason he cannot benefit any social care.
The mentally-ill person, Skender Myrtaj
For more than three months, he has been abandoned even from his brother, being his caretaker, as the authorities decided to remove the caretaking payment based on the only fact that the 50 year old man could not go and see the doctor. According to the decision of the health commission on defining his ability for work (KMCAP) registered with the number 3545, Skënder Myrtaj is not any more part of the first group of the beneficiaries, something which has brought him losing his right on having a caretaker, leaving him at his fate’s mercy, in a ruined hut. The local authorities and the social service institutions say that they cannot find any solution for him. “It is a case that even his relatives do not take him under their responsibilities”, admits the mayor of the Portez commune, Azem Shatëri.
The mayor says that this mentally ill person has an aggressive behavior and he is a risk for the community, but the solution of his case is rather difficult.”He is aggressive; he has broken the windows of several houses in the village, the windows of the commune’s building and those of the health center and those of his brother’s house. These are special people who need support and human caring”, says the mayor of the Portez commune. He explains that the case of Skender is very special, he benefits the social aid being a mentally ill person but he does not have any caretaker to provide him any service. “It is the state which has to intervene and build special centers for the treatment of this category. We have obligatory sent him to the Vlora Psychiatric Hospital, but they have sent him back here and no solution is found so far. The commune does not have any legal possibility to treat these ill people”, expresses the mayor Shatëri.
The mayor of Portez commune, Azem Shatëri
The secretary of the Portëz communal council, Novruz Llanaj, says that he opposes the decision of the physicians to remove the patient from the first category, which will enable him to get the payment for a caretaker who would keep him under control. “We do not understand how a physician removes him from the list of the first group of ill people and places him at the second group. He is not self-conscious”, says the secretary of the communal council in a concerning way. Llanaj expresses that this ill person is very problematic as he displays a violent behaviour with the inhabitants of the village and mainly with the elderly people in his neighbourhood. There are many complaints coming from his neighbours on strange behaviours; from noises to attacks with hard things towards their dwellings”, says worriedly the secretary of the council, Novruz Llanaj.
The file of the 50 year old man, Skënder Myrtaj in the social service office of the commune has the number 70. Ironically, in the pile of the documents in his file there is also the examination certification numbered 2903, dated 18.11.2013 of the KMCAP, where the patient is certified having a serious mental disorder from the physicians of this commission. The administrator of this office, Pëllumb Resulaj, admits that he has personally denounced the case of Myrtaj in the State Social Service office, but despite this, the situation of the 50 year old ill man remains to be without any solution. “His brother has resigned from his responsibility as a caretaker. He has remained at the crossroads. He was kept for only three weeks at the Vlora psychiatric hospital and after getting his medical treatment he has been returned to Portez. We have requested to be treated as being a special case. We are waiting what instructions they will give to regain the caretaking. The state has to give a solution and not to abandon him”, expresses Resulaj.
Director of the Social Service in Fier, Alba Stefa
The director of the Social Service in Fier region, Alba Stefa says that she has been informed about the above mentioned case, and she has asked the support of the State Social Service in Tirana. “I have personally been interested in the case of Skender. He has been denounced by the administrator of Portez commune. This citizen is a risk for the society. Last time when he had to go to the commission, he did not go. I have sent a letter to the police and after that he was sent for further treatment to the Vlora Psychiatric Hospital. The Hospital’s Directorate, based on the law, has kept him for 21 days and after that they brought him back to Portez. We have already informed the Tirana State Social Service and this institution is under negotiations with the Ministry of Health to rehabilitate and give a shelter to this citizen in one of the social centers”, says the director of the Fier State Social Service, Alba Stefa.
But what will be done with this category of ill people, who live alone and are a risk for the society due to their illness and due to lack of caretaking that they suffer daily? The Director Stefa judges as problematic the situation with these mentally ill people. According to her, the Social Service is working hard to comply all the laws related to the treatment of this category with those of the European Union, where a caretaking policy must be at place near to families and society for these ill people, the later to be integrated as better as possible in the society.
Secretary of the Communal Council, Novruz Llanaj
The statistics show that at the communal level there have been examined 19 people with serious schizophrenia. Whereas at the regional level, there are 845 people that benefit their caretaking due to their mental and physical condition. Within this group there are also included people that have been examined by the doctors on having serious mental problems. The case of the 50year old man, Skender Myrtaj, is one of those cases where the doctors do not think twice when it comes to conclude on his health condition, out of which depends the payment or not for the caretaker. If the ill-person does not go to the Commission, he loses the benefit for his health care at the amount of 9800 Leke per month, which in this case goes side by side with the payment of his caretaker. But, based on the law, the physician has to go to see the ill person and to decide on the continuation of the social aid and that of the caretaker.
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