The “Sheikha Fatima” children’s hospital at the University Clinical Center of Kosovo, UCCK, in Prishtina. Photo: BIRN

Staff Shortage Keeps Children’s Trauma Ward in Kosovo Empty

Lack of trained specialists means the trauma ward at UAE-funded children’s hospital, which opened over two years ago, is still not operating.

Over two years after its inauguration, the trauma ward of the “Sheikha Fatima” children’s hospital at the University Clinical Center of Kosovo, UCCK, in Prishtina, has never been used, mainly due to the lack of trained staff.

The ward is equipped with very “advanced diagnostic equipment, starting from X-rays, ultrasound, CT, resonance,” Ardian Shefkiu, director of the clinic, told BIRN, adding: “We just need the staff to be trained to open this unit”.

The hospital, which cost over 22 million euros, was a donation of the United Arab Emirates, UAE, and opened in September 2021.

It was intended for it to be also the centre for the treatment of children’s physical traumas and, according to Shefkiu, would facilitate the work of the UCCK emergency clinic, which is overloaded. Shefkiu told BIRN that 40 per cent of the patients at the emergency clinic are children.

“If 40 per cent of these patients came to this centre, it would certainly be a very big relief for the emergency clinic,” he said.

But a lack of specialized doctors and anesthesiologists has led to the children’s trauma ward gathering dust.

Shefkiu now hopes the space can be used at least as an observation centre for patients, in collaboration with the pediatric clinic, until it is functionalized as a trauma centre.

Fahredin Majkovci, secretary of the UCCK board, told BIRN that a working group will be formed, based on a decision in a meeting of the board with Shefkiu and the director of pediatrics, Violeta Uka, on January 20.

The working group will “evaluate and provide recommendations to the Board for the opening of new services in this clinic, medical equipment, rational recruitment of staff, drugs, etc,” Majkovci told BIRN.

The Kosovo Ministry of Health told BIRN that the staff must be specialized before the ward can start operating, but provided no further detail on steps to be taken to speed up the process.

and 15/02/2024 - 15:34

15 February 2024 - 15:34

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