Republic of Kosovo

Information for Patients
The health system in Kosovo is divided into three key tiers: primary (covering vast communities and a range of services, including family medicine), secondary (primary physicians and specialty disease) and tertiary (specialised care and emergency units. Quality of healthcare in Kosovo is suboptimal and has struggled to get on par with many European countries since its independence from Serbia. There is a new initiative launched by the Kosovar government called Kosovo Healthcare 2020 which is designed to attract greater development and investment into the country concerning healthcare. It is worth notating the corruption is a very real issue within the Kosovo Healthcare system and despite years of attempting to invest in the primary care sector, the quality is lacking. Universal healthcare is not available yet in Kosovo. It is worth noting the that North of the country is still regulated by Serbia and runs a parallel health system that corresponds with Serbia.


Information for Health Care Professionals
All medical professionals must have all legal documents both notarized and legalized by the local Kosovo representation to relevant medical associations. It is important to note that not many countries recognize the state of Kosovo and as such it is important to verify if a Kosovo representation is availability in your jurisdiction. Upon submission to the local embassy, exams for specific specialties must be submitted. It is also vital to double check with key medical societies within Kosovo to understand key requirements for practice. Many health practitioners coming from Western Europe can be fast tracked to practice in the country. 

The language of medical instruction in Kosovo is Serbian and Albanian.


Information for Travelers 
Medical tourism in the country is not common due to the poor infrastructure of healthcare facilities in the country. Travelers and expats are advised to have health insurance prior to arrival that can cover private care access for care beyond the public primary healthcare services (which is adequate for routine checkups). No vaccines are required prior to traveling to Kosovo. 

The common language of hospitals in Kosovo is both Serbian and Albanian. Fluency in English is very rare, but some doctors can speak German and Italian.

The local Ministry of Health website: https://www.kosova.health/en/ 


 

 

References:
http://www.kosovohealthcare.com 
http://www.hpi.sk/en/2013/11/kosovo-brief-health-system-review/ 
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4035133/  
https://prishtinainsight.com/parallel-health-care-system-continues-to-operate-in-northern-kosovo-mag/