Autor: Dr. Rifat Latifi

Teléfono: 1-520-626-1537


Tucson, USA





Brain drain is a well known phenomenon that developing countries are faced with, as intellectuals and other experts leave the country in search of better life.  Returning back to help rebuild medical system of your country that one has left is a dream of every physician expatriate, regardless of the circumstances that were responsible for the migration. Finding the correct project to be involved, however, is not easy. Once the decision is made to give back departmental and institutional support, support of colleagues and family, and financial burden that comes with frequent traveling and days away from work needs to be considered before one commits. We will describe one example of such involvement in the Balkans.

Materials and Methods

The medical system of Kosova, and its infrastructure, a region currently governed by the United Nations and protected by NATO, was largely destroyed by1999, from Serbian forces. The International Virtual e-Hospital, as a telemedicine project, was initiated by the senior author (RL), an alumnus of Medical faculty of University of Prishtina, Kosova, to support, supplement and guide educational programs, and help redevelopment of medical system in the region ravaged by war.  The intensive involvement on the project required special arrangement of call schedule, clinical obligations, and understanding of colleagues, institution and family. Maintaining open communications and continuation of performing the clinical and education duties is a must.  


Although initially seen as far fetched dream, telemedicine in Kosova has become an important element of medical education within Kosova’s medical system through regional and international collaboration. Since its inauguration ( December 10, 2002) Telemedicine Center of Kosova (TCK) has concentrated in the creation of infrastructure, human capacity, clinical protocols, information resources, electronic library, and continuing medical education.  Fifty-four-thousand visits have been registered at the TCK by 1885 medical students and nearly 3000 doctors, nurses and other healthcare providers of the region, and TCK has become a virtual classroom of Kosova. As of march of 2005, 43 regional and international conferences have taken place at the TCK, including live broadcasts of complex surgical procedures. Now in its 2nd phase of development, the project is expected to be completed in one year with nine more regional telemedicine centers installed.


Telemedicine can help reduce brains drain by enabling virtual return and virtual presence to help redevelopment of medical systems, when the disruption is war, natural or man made disaster. Telemedicine can be an expedient way to realize the dream of going back, and helping when there is an acute need of recovery and redevelopment. Flexible and creative work arrangements, however, are needed.


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