Rebuilding a health care system: War, reconstruction and health care reforms in Kosovo

  • Buwa D
  • Vuori H
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Abstract

This article explores the complexity of a health care system reforms in a post-conflict situation. It describes how the health care system was revamped immediately after the war, and then reorganized with Primary Health Care (PHC) as the fulcrum for change. It highlights the coordination problems, typical of a post-war situation when un-coordinated humanitarian assistance pours in. From the vantage points of Ministry of Health officials, the article details how the change process has gone over the years, the directions it has taken and the lessons learnt. It notes that reforms are often so fast that they outstrip the absorption capacity of the potential change agents because of their inadequate preparation for the new roles and responsibilities. This in turn threatens to undermine and weaken the very system that the reforms seek to strengthen. Several options adopted for change in Kosovo's health care system are at varying levels of implementation today. Some commentators have questioned if the policy for the new health care system has failed. We contend that there have been major organizational successes. But there are also shortcomings. There is also a potential danger that the health care system could partly revert to the old system. While some of the successes and shortcomings may be specific to Kosovo, many lessons learnt from Kosovo apply to health care reforms elsewhere.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Conflict
  • Health care reforms
  • Health policy
  • Kosovo
  • Reconstruction

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Authors

  • Dragudi Buwa

  • Hannu Vuori

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