Albania borrows another 32 million Euros from the World Bank for the health sector

Albania borrows another 32 million Euros from the World Bank for the health sector

Tirana, March 24, 2015/Independent Balkan News Agency

The Albanian government has taken out another loan, this time to intervene in the degraded health system. The loan secures the necessary funding for the Project of the Improvement of the Health System in Albania, through an amount of 31,1 million Euros.

The loan agreement between the Albanian government and International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) has been signed, for the Albanian side by the Minister of Finance, Mr. Shkelqim Cani and for the World Bank by Tahseen Sayeed, permanent representative of the World Bank for Albania (photo).

The project will be co-funded by the Albanian government in the amount of 4 million Euros, which will serve to fund 37% of works for the physical rehabilitation and improvement of hospital infrastructure and contribute in the payment of tax obligations in relation to the Project.

Minister Cani said that this loan and the local costs funded by the Albanian government will help the reformation of the hospital sector.

The project aims at improving and managing quality of service by establishing a comprehensive system of health management information system (HMIS) and a system for the management of medical equipment and their maintenance.

The improvement of the Health System supports incentives for the reformation of the health funding in general, to improve the system of the purchase and distribution of pharmaceutical products and the use of medical equipment and also to assess the possibilities of expanding the universal health coverage passing into a regime of general taxation.

The project will be implemented by the Ministry of Health and it’s planned to be completed on 28 February 2021.

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It’s the first time that the health budget in Albania exceeded the value of 400 million USD in 2015. In comparison to 2014, the nominal growth of the budget for the health sector is 2,3 billion ALL, including the transfer from the state budget and the contributions for health contributions, which increases by 6% compared to 2014.

The health budget for 2015 makes up for 2,8% of GDP.

2015 marks the first anniversary of the full implementation of the Free Basic Health Check-Up for Albanian nationals from the age of 40 to the age of 65. This is a project which is realized for the first time in Albania since the overthrow of dictatorship.

For the health sector, the Albanian government, besides today’s loan, has also borrowed 17 million Euros from the European Council Bank, 5 million Euros from the Italian government and 16 million Euros from the Austrian government. /ibna/