Standardized exclusion of the elderly from services in Psychiatry


SHSKUK has stipulated that patients over the age of 65 are not offered services at the Psychiatry Clinic. The Clinic said that they also offer services to the elderly, but admitted that they lack the conditions for geriatric medicine, which means specialized care for the unique health needs of the elderly. The People's Advocate has said that he is preparing a report on this situation.

The official website of the University Clinical Hospital Service (SHSKUK) specifies the age from 18 to 65 years of patients who can be admitted and treated in the wards of the Psychiatry Clinic. 

The People's Advocate, Naim Qelaj, has also raised concerns about the denial of service for the elderly, who told TIME that a report is being prepared on this situation.

"The findings have shown that the Clinic of Psychiatry, according to the established criteria, refuses the access of persons over the age of 65", said Qelaj.

The Clinic of Psychiatry denied not providing health services to patients over the age of 65, although they said that only treatment for those between the ages of 18 and 65 is provided by regulation.

According to the director of the Clinic, Faton Kutllovci, the clinic does not meet the conditions for geriatric medicine or medical service focused on providing care for the unique health needs of the elderly. 

"It would provide all the services that the elderly need. One thing I must say, the current mental health law provides that - unless I'm wrong, I'm not sure, now don't quote me for sure or ask me for the article - psychiatric institutions can treat people from the age of 18 to the age of 65 year. I say with full responsibility that in all cases when people over the age of 65 have needed to receive services, whether outpatient or inpatient at the Psychiatry Clinic, they have received it and will receive it", said Director Kutllovci. "Although the Clinic of Psychiatry is not called to offer geriatric services, we are always at service for people who manifest mental disorders who are over the age of 65."

The Center for Information and Social Improvement aims to improve the quality of mental health care. In it, they denied the management of the Clinic.

Representatives of this organization said that health institutions in Kosovo do not offer specialized services for older age groups, and this definition has been emphasized as a criterion in an internal regulation of the Clinic of Psychiatry.

"In principle, they cannot treat individuals who are 65 years old and beyond, but maybe they take someone in black, but not so that they have defined who they can treat and who they cannot. Even this little puts their work on hold, who is defined by the services that can come and receive services", said Bind Skeja, director of the Center for Information and Social Improvement. "It depends, it is all at the mercy of the staff there who consider that they have the capacity to take him, do they have beds, do they have the opportunity".

KOHA has asked the management for access to the regulations, but it did not provide it on Thursday. 

Last week, KOHA reported that patients over the age of 65 are forced to buy hamstring prostheses themselves, while the Orthopedic Clinic provides them for free to younger ones.