IHS - Integrated Health Services

The Integrated Health Services project aims at improving the availability, quality and continuity of care for patients with non-communicable diseases by strengthening related clinical, managerial and governance processes in the General Hospitals of Gjakova and Peja. IHS enhances coordination and referral between primary and secondary levels of care, and at national level, it supports stakeholders to develop and implement a policy framework that fosters patient-centred integrated care.

Country/region Topic Period Budget

Health systems strengthening
01.01.2021 - 31.10.2026
CHF  5’800’000
Background Kosovo presents some of the worst health indicators in South Eastern Europe. Non-communicable diseases are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality. Yet, the country lacks a respective policy framework and adequate interventions at institution and population level. The poor quality of services across the public health sector remains a critical issue and it affects population trust in the system. Health services are not people-centred and currently there is little integration of services between primary, secondary and tertiary health care or between public and private sectors, jeopardizing many dimensions of care delivery and resulting in expenses for both users and the system. There is hardly any health education or health promotion activity ongoing in General Hospitals, nor is there any social accountability measure in place, as service users are not empowered to participate in the governance, implementation and monitoring of services. 
Objectives Contribute to the development of a sustainable healthcare system that offers qualitative, affordable and integrated care to patients with noncommunicable disease conditions. 
Target groups

IHS will be supporting health facilities in the region of Gjakova and Peja, which serve a population of 380,000 citizens. Focusing support in the General Hospitals of these regions, provides outreach to 29% of all hospital doctors in the country, 34% of all hospital nurses, 58% of the total Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian population and 25% of social assistance beneficiaries;

Primary Health Care management and clinical staff in the targeted geographic regions;

National level stakeholders: Ministry of Health; The Kosovo Hospitals University Clinical Service; The Chambers of Health Professionals and Nurses; The National Institute of Public Health;

Communities through community-based organizations, civil society organizations, patients’ rights associations and mass media. 

Medium-term outcomes

Outcome 1:    The availability and accessibility of quality health services in selected General Hospitals is improved.

Outcome 2:    Better coordination between primary and secondary levels of care towards integrated health services improves the health status of patients with NCD conditions.

Outcome 3:    Policy frameworks at national level are conducive to patient-centred integrated care.


Expected results:  

-    Self-management programmes for selected patients with hypertension and diabetes are developed and operationalized;

-    A Quality Management system (aligned to EU standards) operationalized in selected General Hospitals;

-    Clinical services for  non-communicable diseases  are improved through professional development and other capacity building mechanism; 

-    Functional primary – secondary referral system operationalized in the outpatients departments in selected General Hospitals;

-    Non-communicable disease care pathways between selected General Hospitals and primary health care facilities operational;

-    Health education for non-communicable diseases implemented in selected General Hospitals;

-    Patients are able to engage in social accountability mechanisms;

-    Policy framework to support patient-centred integrated care for non-communicable diseases in place.

Results from previous phases:   This will be the first implementation phase of the project. In November 2021, the implementing organization Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, selected via a tender process, launched the inception phase of IHS. The main aim of the inception phase was to design the project through an extensive consultation process with key stakeholders. The necessary studies, analysis and data-collection were conducted in order to detail thoroughly project approaches and interventions by consolidating the project document. On the basis of a very elaborate methodology and in coordination with national stakeholders, the General Hospitals of Gjakova and Peja were selected as partner facilities for the first phase of the project. 

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Swiss cooperation with Eastern Europe
Project partners Contract partner
International or foreign NGO
Swiss Academic and Research Institution
  • Other international or foreign NGO North
  • Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute

Coordination with other projects and actors

SDC Accessible Quality Healthcare project

SECO District Heating project Gjakova

Donor initiatives: WB, Lux Dev, WHO, UNICEF

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    5’800’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    1’159’202