Albania or Republic of Albania is southeast European country bordered by Macedonia, Montenegro, Kosovo and Greece. Its capital and largest city is Tirana. Population of Albania is 3 million (2015) while Albanian is official language.
Albanian Health system is gradually improving with life expectancy of 77 years outnumbering some of the main European countries. Newborn mortality rate has decreased to 8/1000. Currently there are 44 major hospitals in the country. An overview at basic health statistics can be found here.
Ministry of health is leading organization monitoring all aspects of health care in Albania.
While Order of Physicians is medical regulatory authority for local and foreign doctors and Specialists in the republic.
Undergraduate Medical Education
In Albania students enter into medical university after secondary school education which comprises of 12 years of education. Students enroll into medical faculty/school after passing an entrance examination. At university level undergraduate medical education is for 6 years (total 12 semester). To graduate medical school, students should pass state examination which is conducted by National Examination Agency, a member of Ministry of Education and Sports Albania. Upon graduation, doctors get degree of Master of Science (MSc), Magistrale e Master. Then he/she should apply for membership of Order of Physician. Eligibility criteria for membership is mentioned below. After Membership approval he/she will be issued licence to practice medicine in the country.
Albania Medical Residency
Albania medical residency or specialty training can be continued after graduation from medical school. Currently specialty training is only being offered by Medical Univeristy of Tirana.
Content of Albania medical residency or specialty training has been defined by the University of Medicine of Tirana and Accreditation Commission of Ministry of Education Albania. After passing final examination certificates of Specialty training completion are issued by university of medicine & Ministry of Health.
Before starting Albania medical residency residency training doctors must sign a contract with Ministry of Education and Sports obliging him/her to work in Rural/Public health care setup for three years after completion of his/her specialty training. In case of not abiding by the agreement doctor will have to pay 5 times of salary he/she was paid during training period (approx. 2 million lek/160000 USD).
For Licence to be issued to local/foreign medical graduates first they need to get membership of Orders of Physicians of Albania, then they will be issued individual license to practice in their respective field in Republic of Albania. Eligibility criteria for membership is discussed below.
1. No one can be a practicing doctor in public or private health care system in Albania without being a member of the Order of Physicians and without being provided with an individual license for the profession, issued by this organization.
2. Local physicians, practicing doctor, specialist doctors for membership of the Order of Physicians of Republic of Albania should meet the following criteria
- a) Should be Albanian citizens;
- b) Should have basic medical qualification, specialist diploma/certificate (if any) (recognized by the Ministry of Education & Sports of Albania)
- c) Should not be convicted of a crime at the time of application for membership;
- d) Should recognize pledge in writing that he/she will comply with the requirements of applicable law, Statute Physicians Oath and Code of Ethics and Medical Deontology
3. Foreigner medical practitioners for practicing as resident/specialist in Albania, or intend to do any clinical rotations in clinical course conducted by a medical institution, should have the following documents:
- a) Residence and work permit in the Republic of Albania
- b) Good standing certificate issued by medical association/licensing authority of doctors country of origin/last practicing.
- c) Unification/Equivalence of degree/diploma and specialization certificates (if any) issued by his Institution outside Republic of Albania to Albanian Qualification from Ministry of education.
- d) A recommendation letter from a local specialist of the same area who should be member of the Order of Physicians.
- e) Albanian language proficiency certificate from a recognised institution
Note: Nonresident doctor necessarily works with translators
Entrance examination into university is conducted by university while before graduation a final state examination is held by National Examination Agency
Basic medical education – 2500 USD per semester at medical university of Tirane
Foreign Medical graduates can get licence to practice medicine or their specialized field in Albania after completing following few steps.
- Get residence & work permit in Albania.
- Apply for unification/equivalence of his/her medical qualifications issued by his/her home country in Ministry of Education and Sports Albania.
- Pass Language proficiency exam or have certificate of B2 Albanian profienciency level according to CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for languages).
- Apply to regional office of Order of Physicians for membership and registration with all necessary documents pay the fee and wait.
- Once you get registration they will issue you licence to practice medicine in Republic of Albania.
- To maintain your licence get 150 credit points in 5 year duration and you will need to reapply for membership and licence renewal.
List of important documents to be submitted to office of Orders of Physician
- Duly signed and Filled application form
- Qualification Equivalence certificate issued by Ministry of Education & Sports of Albania
- Good standing certificate issued by health medical licensing authority/health authority from applicants home country or country of previous employment
- Residence and work permit
- Albanian language proficiency certificate
- Medical degrees and transcript and specialization certificates (if any)
- Application fee payment receipt
- Any other relevant documents in possession
Postgraduate Medical Education
Doctors can study further studies into integrative master course or do Albania medical residency training in their chosen field. Also PhD programs are being offered by medical University of Tirane. Though language of instruction is Albanian. So foreign medical graduates will need to pass Albanian proficiency exam for admission into undergraduate or postgraduate medical courses.
CME (Continuous Medical Education) and CPD (Continuous Professional Development) are compulsory in Albania. The Ministry of Health is responsible for CME/CPD regulations and Physicians who achieve 150 credits target within 5 years are eligible for re-licensing by the Order of Physicians of Albania.
National Center for continuing medical education for health professionals regulates and accreditates all CME and CPD workshops, seminars, conferences and training activities.
For further continuous medical education activities. Visit Medical University of Tirane Medical faculty page.
Detailed information of basic and postgraduate medical education can be found here.