In 2020, Albanian families increased their spending on health by 28%, while in the European Union this indicator fell by about 4%, according to new data from the Together for Life report monitoring the state budget for health in the country.
Spending on the health sector reached a record level in 2021, influenced by the increase in the treatment of hospitalized patients due to the burden created by the COVID-19 pandemic, the process of vaccination against COVID-19, the start of concessionary activity of laboratories, and the World Bank loan issued for coping with the consequences of the pandemic.
For the entire year 2021, the actual total expenditure on health was ALL 78 billion (Euro 642 million), with an increase of 16% on an annual basis compared to the corresponding period of 2020, or ALL 10.8 billion (Euro 88 million) more. Compared to 2019, when the country was in a normal health period, health spending has increased significantly by 28%.
In 2021, due to the load that was created in hospitals, especially during the first half of the year, the fund for the “Treatment of Hospitalized Patients” has increased significantly, expanding by 19%, or 3.7 billion ALL (30 million Euro) more, for 2021, compared to 2020.
“Persons vaccinated with the vaccine against COVID-19”, is a new item that was implemented for the first time in 2021, within the program for vaccination against COVID-19, with a total fund of ALL 3.5 billion (Euro 28.5 million) for 2021.
Excess mortality continued to be high in 2021, influenced by the significant increase in fatalities in the period January – March. For 2021, the country recorded 30,580 deaths, an increase of 10.8% compared to the same period of 2020, when the country faced the first wave of the pandemic.
In the first quarter of 2022, the increase in excess mortality slowed down compared to the previous year, but still remains higher than in the pre-pandemic period.
Despite the acceleration of the process, Albania remains among the last in Europe in terms of vaccination, in relation to the population. Only about 46% of the population were vaccinated with at least one dose (1,293,234 first doses) by the end of April 2022.
From November 2020 to April 2022, out of the total fund of ALL 1.2 billion (Euro 9.4 million) available for the anti-COVID-19 reimbursement package at home, patients benefited only about ALL 37.8 million or 3% of the available funds. In total, about 9,000 people or 3.2% of the officially declared infections in our country had benefited from the fund until April 30, 2022.
Citizens’ interest in benefiting from the refund package was low, as a series of procedures had to be completed to benefit from even a small amount. On the other hand, the data from pharmacies claimed that home treatments for patients with moderate symptoms have reached Euro 2 to 6,000.
In 2020, Albanian families increased their spending on health by 28%, while in the European Union this indicator fell by about 4%. In this way, Albania recorded the Highest household health expenditures in Europe, as measured by the annual change in the final consumption of household economic units (at current prices).