Agenzia Giornalistica
direttore Paolo Pagliaro

Bekim Dula thanks Italy for the heart surgery clinic in Pristina

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Bekim Dula thanks Italy for the heart surgery clinic in Pristina

Feb. 24 - The Italian health care system works, and Kosovo's experience confirms this. Professor Bakim Dula, head of the heart surgery department of the University Hospital in Pristina - the only public hospital in the country. The department opened on March 13, 2013 thanks to the €1.7 million in aid given by the Italian Cooperation Agency via the Foreign Affairs Ministry. The clinic celebrates its rebirth in these days, after the interruption caused by issues with energy provision with Tecnokos. "I came up with the initial project while in Italy in 2009, says Dula, and I then pitched it to the Ambassador Patrick Mura. This was during the aid conference that saw Italy take charge of sanitation and health care. The Ambassador then presented the project to the Health Ministry in Kosovo, which formally asked for funding from Italy." The project kicked off rather quickly, but encountered its first problems with the financial crisis. "With the crisis, everything stopped for two years, says the professor, and we didn't know if it could be completely. However, Italy maintained its promise and activities were restarted." The center opened on March 13, 2013 with the first operation taking place the following day: a heart bypass on a Bosnian woman. "So far, we've operated 25 times. Some journalists say this isn't enough, but for us 25 is better than none." Ethnic issues continue to pose serious hindrances to the project. "Before this project, there were others who wished to set up a heart clinic; but Belgrade did its best to prevent this from happening." Dula, an Albanian Kosovo resident, admits that there are no Serbians among the staff or patients. "In Pristina, 95% of the population is Albanian... It's not a question of ethnic screening, we operate on anyone who needs it. My own father was operated upon in Serbia." The clinic is in perfect conditions, set up in the former orthopedic department. The Kosovo administration invested €700.000 to renovate the department, while the Italian Foreign Affairs ministry gave €1.7 million for instruments and staff training. The training takes place in the hospital and with a residency period in Italy. "We've only just begun our activities here, we've had some technical issues but we're basically ready to start all enginges." This week, the department will re-open its doors to patients staying overnight, while free day visits had always been guaranteed on Thursdays. "Kosovo invested in 2013 alone €100 million in health care, while Italy in 2007 invested €110 billion. In Italy, anyone can go to the hospital and receive treatment... And its heart surgery departments are among the best in the world."


Bakim Dula graduated in Surgery in Tirana, to later specialize in heart surgery in Turin and Milan between 2002 and 2008. Thanks to the Italian Cooperation Agency, he was able to set up the heart surgery clinic project in Pristina.

(© 9Colonne - citare la fonte)