Hospitals modernization, pay rise for doctors and nurses 

New maternity hospital in the museum city of Berat, reborn building constructed from scratch, will welcome new babies in a modern environment and maternity care units that meet the same high standards applied in developed European countries.

Prime Minister Edi Rama inspected the works to construct the new maternity hospital that completes the rebirth programme circle for the hospital compound in Berat, where the investment projects over the past few years exceeds the investments developed during the previous decades combined.

The Minister of Health and Social Protection Ogerta Manastirliu noted that the new maternity facility’s infrastructure offers highest standards of maternal and newborn care. “The maternity hospital in Berat is a promise kept by the Albanian government. The new maternity hospital is a government-funded project worth 216 million lek. The maternity bed capacity will grow to 84 beds from 40 beds previously and the new units will meet best standards in provision of maternal and newborn care. In addition to that, we have designed a requalification project to restore the entire hospital building in terms of the façade plastering and insulation. Seven maternity hospitals have been constructed or are under construction across the country over the past seven years. Construction of the maternities in Korça and Saranda has completed, whereas work is underway at the maternity hospitals in Lezhe, Berat, Kukes, and at the Queen Geraldine University Hospital of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in Tirana. Our ambition plan is to rejuvenate all maternity hospital buildings all over Albania. The reconstruction projects are designed not only to improve care, but also improve the national indicators,” Health Minister Manastirliu said.

At a meeting with doctors, PM Rama hailed the transformation of the hospital compound in the south-western museum city as no such required investments were developed for decades there. He also reiterated that the government will also keep its pledge for a 40 % pay increase for doctors, nurses, combined with a new salary hike for teachers all over Albania. “A deep wound is finally being healed in Berat too. The reason why it took so long to complete it is that these are very high quality projects designed to meet best European standards. But the intervention to the state budget to increase the wages of doctors, nurses and health workers is the icing on the cake. We will make a strong intervention and a sustainable and considerable pay rise. We have yet to decide over the final figure, but I believe that the pay hike will be around 40% and a decision will be made in the next days as we are seeking to combine it with a pay hike for teachers too, delivering on our pledge for a 40% increase by the end of the four-year term. We are seeking to reach there, so announce a considerable increase in this process. In the meantime, as for the doctors and nurses, especially under the current circumstances when we face a more complex challenge, as well as to make sure that every doctor and nurse work and build a career here and do not feel inferior for the difference of the salary they might receive in Germany or Italy, because it is true that higher salaries are paid in those countries, yet they pay more taxes and higher house rents etc.. We will also continue providing the monthly bonus to all doctors who agree to work in other districts rather than their home city, but also provide a decent salary to all health workers. There is no reason for a huge gap between the normal monthly salary and the bonus. And I think we are not racing against time in this respect. I know that the good is infinite, but, at least we provide a decent salary at equal level to any other country in the region. But the calculation we make, taking into account the income tax, which is much lower than in other countries, is that what you take home deserves all the extraordinary effort you put in.”