The dual employed physicians in QSUT (Tirana University Hospital Center), abuse with their duty by referring patients to the private clinics. The reason behind is that some of the physicians own private clinics or they are employed in them. Given the fact, that the law allows dual-employment, the physicians and the chiefs of hospital wards employed in the private practice do not respect the public healthcare working hours.
The Association of Journalists for Justice (AJJ) initiated an investigation to shed light around this fact.
The research in the field brought some specific cases, in which the public hospitals wards’ chiefs owned private clinics, or were referring the patients to the private clinics. The ownership of these private clinics was supported by the official data displayed by the National Registration Center (QKR).
AJJ highlights the case of the cardiologist Idriz Balla, working at QSUT (Tirana University Hospital Center), who refuses to examine the patient as according to him, there is a private clinic where the patient can be examined instead of the public hospital.
THE HIDDEN CAMERA
The Journalist: Hello!
Idriz Balla: Hello!
The Journalist: I would like to make an appointment with a physician for my grandfather.
Idriz Balla: You would like to hospitalize him, but where can I put him? This is not my father’s house. Who are you?
The Journalist: I am his grandson.
Idriz Balla: Where are you from?
The Journalist: I am from Elbasan.
Idriz Balla: What can I tell you?
The Journalist: When can he I bring him for a visit?
Idriz Balla: No! I don’t visit the patients anymore.
The Journalist: Why?
Idriz Bala: I don’t want to. I have my own private clinic, but I also serve in the hospital ward. If he can come to the hospital, I would see him.
The Journalist: Can I fix an appointment for tomorrow?
Idriz Balla: Tomorrow is Friday… no, not tomorrow, I can’t, as I am at the KEMP (Medical Commission for Work Capability Assessment). Who are you? What do you do?
The Journalist: I am a student in Elbasan.
Idriz Bala: Why don’t you visit him to a doctor in Elbasan?
The Journalist: You know how the situation is in Elbasan.
Idriz Bala: I don’t know what to say. Tomorrow, I will go to the KEMP (Medical Commission for Work Capability Assessment), I am busy all day.
Another similar case was related to a doctor in Kosovo, who was referring his citizens to go to the Doc. Mentor Petrela’ private clinic for treatment.
The patient: Initially, we took the referral from Kosovo. A doctor from Kosovo referred us to go to Mentor Petrela’ private clinic.
The Journalist: Not to the public hospital, but to the private clinic?
The patient: Yes, because we were told that we will be done within the day.
Investigim.al also publishes another case, in which the physician, whom voice is heard on the audio registration, leads the patient to a private clinic by giving the explanation of a better service. The physician claims that the public health service has a high cost, therefore, justifying her intermediate role with the private practice.
The patient: The biopsy cost was high, 66 thousand lek.
The doctor: 40 thousand are the costs in the public hospitals.
The patient: The public hospitals charge 40 thousand?
The doctor: Yes, 40 thousand. I could get you in with 30 thousand to the civilian.
The patient: How long it takes to the public hospitals?
The doctor: 3 months, but I sent you here as they are my friends.
After the observations in the field in QSUT, it is obvious the absence of these doctors during the official hours, although, the time schedules are displayed in the respective pavilions. The patients complain and identify the laboratory services/tests as the most problematic ones, while waiting in the queue holding documents. The public information desks in the hospital sends the patients from one direction to the other, therefore leading them away from the public hospitals to the private clinics, where the costs are almost unaffordable by patients.
In the Tirana University Hospital Center “Mother Teresa’’ the clients complain and are concerned with the referrals to the private clinics, high public healthcare costs and lack of medicines.
COMPLAINTS BY CITIZENS
” I have seen with my own eyes dozens of people sent to the private clinics. They say do the echo-test to the “21” while I could do it here. There is corruption”
“The lack of a time schedule is a shame. If you go to the Oncology in the morning, you will see yourself the long queue which is self-explanatory”
“There are basic deficiencies as can not be found even the “Paracetamol” in the hospitals’ pharmacies. You can easily verify the lack of thermometers, blood pressure devices and medicines, and the poor health services delivered. Tests are not done at the hospitals. A person did some tests which cost 15 thousand lek, and was referred to the American Hospital. The same doctor, who referred him, went to the private clinic for the tests. Hospital ward’s chiefs refer the patients as well as the physicians”
“I’m a fisherman, why do I have to pay 100 thousand lek for a test. I don’t agree to be told for a 1-year old child, that some tests can be done here, and then you can go to the private clinics for the remaining tests. Why should I go to a private clinic, to give money to all these people?”
In the absence of good health service at the public health sector, the only option left to the patients is the private healthcare sector. This is confirmed by representatives of the private clinics to AJJ. Indeed a paradox, as the care providers at these private clinics are the same doctors working in the public hospitals. Therefore, the impression of a double standard healthcare provided by the doctors is created.
The answer was given from a private clinic patient, led by the physician Agron Ylli, chief of the Endocrinology division.
AUDIO INTERVIEW WITH THE PATIENT IN THE PRIVATE CLINIC
The Journalist: Why do people choose the services in the private sector?
The Patient: As you get quick treatment.
The Journalist: Have you gone to the public hospitals?
The Patient: It is not the same health service..
The Journalist: Why do they not have the best equipments?
The Patient: It is all in its complexity. It begins from the manner the doctors first meet you, they are rude, as you are bothering them. They do not provide care, they are disrespectful..
Agron Ylli is not the only one to be part of private clinics staff. In the Healthcare Center “Diplomat”, a number of doctors and chiefs of different wards are found who provide healthcare any time during the day, therefore not following their legal obligation to serve to the patients of the public hospital “Mother Teresa”.
Nard Ndoka the former Health Minister, claims for Investigim.al that many doctors and wards chiefs deliberately destroy the equipment in the public hospitals, in order to provide the same health services in the private clinics.
“The chiefs of hospital wards refer the patients to the private clinics by narrowing the public spaces, creating problems in the infrastructure, often deliberately destroying the medical equipment. It is necessary to have a consistent control by placing legal obstacles to reduce the possibility of abuse of these chief doctors of the major clinics. “- says Nard Ndoka, former Minister of Health.
The former Minister of Health says that a culture of abuse is created in the health sector in Albania, where not everything is regulated by the law.
“Beyond the demagogy that the health system will be free of charge, is important to establish a balance between the public and private hospitals. The objective of the Ministry of Health is to not to have conflicts of interest, obstacles for patients who prefer the public health sector by transferring them indirectly to the private clinics. “- says Nard Ndoka, former Minister of Health.
In conclusion, it is evident that the law on dual employment for the physicians creates some space for the physicians to abuse in the public health sector and favoring their private clinics.
hey you dick head journalist , do you know that this is the best doctor in Albania , how you dare and film him in private,,,hope something bad hits you , and you will see the consequences
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