Kosovo-Serbs' experiences of seeking healthcare in a post-conflict and ethnically segregated health system

Xhyljeta Luta, Tania Dræbel

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftsartikelForskningpeer review


OBJECTIVE: To examine the experiences of Kosovo-Serbs who seek healthcare in the formal Kosovo health system. METHODS: Eleven semi-structured interviews were carried out with Kosovo-Serbs who live in one of the following mono-ethnic enclaves: Gorazhdevc/Goraždevac, Videje/Vidanje, Klinë/Klina and Viti/Vitina. A phenomenological approach was used to collect and analyze data. RESULTS: The analysis shows the critical role of the depth of the relationship with Kosovo-Albanian doctors in the Kosovo-Serbs' experience of seeking care in the formal sector. The patient-doctor relationship is the result of two processes-longitudinal care and consultation experiences. Four elements, i.e., knowledge, trust, closeness and regard were identified as key aspects contributing to the depth of the relationship between Kosovo-Serb patients and Kosovo-Albanian doctors. CONCLUSIONS: Fear, anxiety and language differences are still important barriers to Kosovo-Serbs' access to formal health care. These barriers are partly overcome as interviewees establish and develop relationships to Kosovo-Albanian doctors based on reciprocal knowledge, trust, closeness, and regard. Hereby, Kosovo-Serb patients and Kosovo-Albanian doctors contribute to blur the lines the ethnically divided health system and transcend the legacy of war.
TidsskriftInternational Journal of Public Health
Udgave nummer3
Sider (fra-til)377-383
Antal sider7
StatusUdgivet - 2013
Udgivet eksterntJa


  • Ethnic disparities
  • Health access
  • Health promotion
  • Kosovo
  • Post-conflict