10th of November 2015: On the wake of the international diabetes day in Kosovo, the Kosovo National Diabetes Association (SHKDK) with the support of Solidar Suisse within the KOSANA project, have presented 6 policy briefs of the Kosovo National Diabetes Association in relation to the health insurance scheme. The attached documents present the current situation and the recommendations of SHKDK in relation to some aspects of diabetes disease management in Kosovo; diagnosis and gravity of diabetes in Kosovo, access to specialized health professionals for patients with diabetes, health care costs and affordability for patients with diabetes, health care service preferences and utilization profile of diabetic patients, insulin usage in Kosovo and availability of basic services and medicaments.
Recommendations and conclusions from the conference:
• The need for a National Diabetes Plan: Prevention Structure, Screening, Diet and Physical Activity is an intermediate and crucial need. A national diabetes plan would improve late diagnostification, better monitoring and control of the disease as well as the prevention of serious complications.
• The Basic Healthcare Package for diabetes patients must be realized in coordination with the Endocrinologists Association, and the National Association of Patients with Diabetes.
• The basic health care package must include a full spectrum of services and medicaments for the monitoring and control of diabetes without major financial constraints (in the cost distribution form).
• Political, economical, and social circumstances in Kosovo seem to have impacted the health of the population. Stress before, during and after the war, lifestyle changes, eating habits are among the factors which affect the increase of the number of diabetes patients.
• Late detection and diagnostification boost diabetes complication rates. The complications burden the healthcare, financial system due to additional health care needed.
• The empowerment of the primary care physicians can be achieved by implementing the concept of family health care in which the flow of patients is improved by the healthcare service provider at the primary level which take the role of the gatekeeper.
• Further specialization of the workforce on issues which are important for diabetes treatment (i.e. treatment of specific complications, modern approaches in disease control, etc.) must have special consideration.
• More work is needed to inform the general population about the importance of diabetes treatment in the prevention of diabetes complications, especially the benefits of insulin therapy. Also, it is extremely important for the patients to receive information regarding diet and physical activity by using all means of communication, including press, and electronic means.