The promise of the Minister of Health, Ogerta Manastirliu, that the infectious disease hospital would have completed the works at the end of July, seems to still require time to be met. The works for the rehabilitation of the building continue and the day when this hospital is operational, including all its equipment, and even the required standards seems to be far from the deadline promised by the Minister of Health. The emergency for the treatment of patients with Covid-19 continues as the number of people affected in this period is high

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In May this year, Prime Minister Edi Rama and the Minister of Health, Ogerta Manastirliu, inspected the works for the reconstruction of the Infectious Disease Hospital at QSUT, where it was announced that the work for this hospital would be completed at the end of July.

“The project envisages a complete renovation of the premises, but also a new recomposition, so at the end of this investment we will have 118 beds in this hospital, while the capacity of intensive therapy will be doubled. We are done by the end of July”, Minister Manastirliu promised on May 26 of this year.

This was not the only promise made by the Minister of Health for the Infectious Disease Hospital. Regarding the completion of the works in this hospital, the minister stated again on July 11 that the Infectious Disease Hospital would be ready within the month of July, while in August it would be functional to provide service.

“I am satisfied that now, as we promised, within the month of July we can have a completion of the works in this hospital. And this is our goal, that by the end of July, from the point of view of infrastructure rehabilitation, the new hospital for infectious diseases at the University Hospital Center ‘Mother Teresa’ is completed. Meanwhile, the hospital will start being operational in August, when we will have an opening of this new service”, declared Manastirliu.

Given the big citizens’ interest and need for this hospital, while our country is facing increasing numbers of those affected by Covid-19, Faktoje decided to do an on-site inspection to see the progress of the works closely. On August 1st, we were at “Mother Teresa” Hospital Center, at the construction site of the Infectious Disease Hospital.

From the on-site verification, we found that work for the completion of the hospital building was still going on. Many workers were on the construction site, and it was clear that there was still work to be done before the works for the reconstruction of the Infectious Disease Hospital were completed.

Works at the Infectious Disease Hospital, August 1st, 2022

Works at the Infectious Disease Hospital, August 1st, 2022

We asked employees at the construction site, who refrained from providing information, saying only that it will be ready very soon, but did not give us a date for the completion of the works.

Works at the Infectious Disease Hospital, August 1st, 2022

The construction works sign posted at the construction read that the works had started in March 2022, but there was no date of completion.

Construction works sign at the construction site of the Infectious Disease Hospital, August 1st, 2022

The cost and project of the Infectious Disease Hospital

According to the construction works sign, the value of the contract is 5,610,000 euros including VAT. Regarding the invested value and the project of the Infectious Disease Hospital, Manastirliu announced in May that the project envisaged doubling the capacity of intensive care and increasing the capacity of the emergency ward. “Investment in the Infectious Disease Hospital to turn it into a referral center for infectious diseases has started since March, an investment of 5.6 million euros that foresees not only the rehabilitation of the hospital, but also an extention of reception capacities and mainly for the services of intensive therapy,as part of our plan for coping with emergencies for infectious diseases”, Manastirliu said at the time.

She further added: “The hospital will have all the necessary state-of-the-art equipment and investments will be made for the entire monitoring network of the entire activity of the hospital, in the construction of the data network, for the monitoring of patients in real time. The new Infectious Disease Hospital will also be equipped with an auditorium and lecture halls for medical students.”

Patient service

The service for patients affected by Covid-19 is being offered within the premises of QSUT, in what is known as the Covid-3 hospital.

The Covid-3 hospital, where patients are receiving services, August 1st, 2022

“In terms of the response plan in the aspects of the entire hospital service, now all the patients who are being treated have been transferred to the Covid 3 hospital. A reorganization has been done with the QSUT directorate to have all the necessary materials, tools, so that we don’t have any problems to do all that treatment that happened in the Infectious Disease Hospital.

In terms of the number of beds in Covid 3 hospital, there are currently sufficient beds. However, if we have or will continue to have an increase in the number of cases that require hospital treatment, obviously our response plan scenarios for this period are ready, both in terms of hospital structures in regional hospitals, and in terms of the hospital structure of ‘Shefqet Ndroqi’ hospital, or Covid 4 structure”, announced Manastirliu in March.

The increase in the number of people affected by Covid-19 makes it necessary to put this hospital into operation as soon as possible. Data from August 1, 2022 from the Ministry of Health show that 35 patients are currently receiving treatment at the Covid-3 hospital, while 716 people have been infected in the last 24 hours from 645 tests performed.

If we compare it with August 1 of the previous year, it is noticeable that there is a significant increase in the numbers. In the same period last year, only 40 cases of people infected with Covid-19 were reported, out of 2568 tests performed.

In March this year, Manastirliu announced the starting of the implementation of the project for the complete rehabilitation and expansion of the capacities of the Infectious Disease Hospital at QSUT.

Meanwhile, in June, the Minister of Health announced that a Loan Agreement was signed between the Republic of Albania and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development for additional financing for hospitals, through the “Health System Improvement” project.

“This agreement aims to improve the health system by focusing on hospital reform. The additional financing is in the amount of 25 million euros and is divided into three components, i.e. the infrastructure improvement component; health information management improvement component; and monitoring, evaluation, project management and technical assistance”, she declared.