Teuta Sahatqija, Ambassador for Republic of Kosovo Exclusive Interview with Matt Bird at Converge2Xcelerate | ESG News – Boston, MA
Teuta Sahatqija, Ambassador & Head of Mission Consulate General for Republic of Kosovo with Matt Bird at Converge2Xcelerate Conference (Boston, MA)
- 1/2 of Kosovo’s population is younger than 30 years old
- Kosovo was one of the innovators of telemedicine by opening its first institute in 2002
- Kosovo’s telemedicine center is linked to 62 Universities, medical centers, & health organizations around the world
INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTS: Teuta Sahatqija, Ambassador & Head of Mission Consulate General for Republic of Kosovo with Matt Bird
Matt Bird – Host, Traders Network Show: 00:00
Welcome back to the Traders Network Show and our coverage of the Converge2Xcelerate conference. I’m your host Matt Bird. We’re broadcasting a worldwide from the Boston Seaport World Trade Center. My next guest needs very little introduction on the world stage. She is the ambassador and the head of mission council general for Kosovo. Teuta Sahatqija welcome to the show. You know pleasure to have you here. We’re gearing up for the conference and we have you here one-on-one before you take the panel and you have a keynote speech from what I understand. And I wanted to take a few minutes to go through some of the things you’ve done in some initiatives going on in Kosovo because as we are here covering the telemedicine industry, you’ve done some pretty substantial things over in Kosovo dating back to 2002. I understand. Why don’t you walk us through the evolution of the healthcare system out there and how you guys have used, utilized and monetized existing, you know, modern technology to bring it to the masses with, with, with the, with the lack of the infrastructure as you’ve been rebuilding.
Teuta Sahatqija – Ambassador, Republic of Kosovo: 01:08
Well, Matt, thank you very much for this interview. I’m very happy to be here and to have a possibility to talk about Kosovo. My favorite subject and even better to talk about technology and to talk about health. Hear in United States, not too many people knows where Kosovo is I have a difficulties to explain where that is. Cause always in the South Eastern Europe it’s surrounded by a Montenegro, VDR, Serbia and Macedonia. And for some of people it’s known about the war in ‘99 causable of a war in Kosovo today are completely different things. But before talking to today’s Kosovo I have to tell about nineties, Kosovo was passing through very difficult times where education system and healthcare system was emptied by Albanians who are majority of population being possible. So during nineties Albanian ethnicity physicians and nurses who was excluded from medical system, excluded from modern and advanced procedures, and they immediately became jobless people. During the ‘99 during the war when Serbia withdrawal from Kosovo.
Teuta Sahatqija – Ambassador, Republic of Kosovo: 02:40
In fact they took the medical equipment and our medical system was severely destroyed. So the end of the war in ‘99 causable started from the scratch, started from no equipment, from a damaged buildings and with the pool of doctors, physicians and nurses that lacked or more than one decade of work inside of the system. But despite that, Kosovo started a new life or with a huge amount of hope of trust in a future and with a tremendous hub for international community. And I cannot not thank the United States of being our main ally for liberation and for reconstruction of Kosovo. While talking about Kosovo and the time of not existing a system I have to mention, initiation and creation was a telemedicine center of Kosovo. It was initiated in 2002 by the doctor from Arizona, in fact, crossover data from Arizona, and that the help the president of international virtual hospitals, so that started first aid Kosovo then spread over, started in Prishtina spread round Kosovo. Now it has six centers around Kosovo. It’s linked up with Albanian system and there are tremendous things that this center in fact did. It helped in education of our staff in continuous medical experience. And I have to tell that this center is today linked with 62 universities, medical centers and health organizations around the world. More than 20 countries are there 338 education lectures in more than 2,800 patients were treated helping with these virtual hospital and medical center.
Matt Bird – Host, Traders Network Show: 05:11
That’s fascinating. So, as we’re here for a med tech conference connectivity in order to make these things happen is really important. You found a way to connect people with the need for care with people who have a dial up internet connection. Can you tell us a little bit about that process and, and how, how connectivity plays an important part role in this?
Teuta Sahatqija – Ambassador, Republic of Kosovo: 05:33
A connectivity in 21st century is, I think something that cannot be even discussed it is in fact without connectivity. I cannot even imagine how it functions today. So when we are talking about connectivity, I have to mention that Kosovo is one of countries that are very advanced in ICT. It has the biggest number of engineers of educated people who are educated and certified in most renowned world certification like Cisco. And Juniper and Telecom and networking. And as a country, I think that after the war we made really good decisions of spreading internet infrastructure, Kosovo. Today Kosovo has more than 80% of total territory and families who are connected with broadband internet and it’s not only the best in the region but it’s comparable and more a higher advanced in European union making Kosovo very good connected and having not only infrastructure but also people who are advanced in technology Kosovo is a country that more than half our population is younger than 30 years old.
Teuta Sahatqija – Ambassador, Republic of Kosovo: 07:03
And speaking of three, four, five, six languages is something very common. I speak only six languages and English is very widely spread wherever you go, everything is in English also and German and Italian and Spanish or also very frequently spoken. So making this composition of it education and it infrastructure and health and connectivity, you see the cost of oil is really the country that, that a promise a lot. And I want to use this opportunity also to call for businesses for organizations to come to Kosovo. Kosovo is a very fertile ground for new businesses. It’s in middle of Europe connected through infrastructure, not only with the best roads in the region, but also with the ID infrastructure.
Matt Bird – Host, Traders Network Show: 08:07
You know, I’ve toured, I’ve toured through working with the United nations. I’ve toured through Eastern Europe, had been the Azerbaijan and bow crew and Turkey and Pakistan and most of that in that region. And the one thing I’ve noticed is connectivity is creating is probably the backbone of economic development right now. Tell me a little bit about how telemedicine and your initiatives are helping the economic, general economic development and job creation in Kosovo and where’s it all going? What’s next?
Teuta Sahatqija – Ambassador, Republic of Kosovo: 08:36
Yes. when I was mentioning the ID I think is in fact becoming very important part of our economy. I have to mention that during this year myself and my mission organize the visit of American businesses to Kosovo and from a five businesses, four of them already have their branches in Kosovo. It was in March, the visit was in March. And from the March to today, there are four of them who already have. And the fifth is coming up with your big other businesses identifying Kosovo really as a part of a broad connection, not only with Kosovo, but also with Albania, with South Eastern Europe and direct connection to European union. That’s why having a business in Kosovo, having the health facilities or organizations that, that work or doctors coming to Kosovo means finding the fertile ground, the good connections and helping Kosovo also to strive with the economy development, to help the job creation and to link Casa with the Europe and with United States of America.
Matt Bird – Host, Traders Network Show: 10:04
Well, I think there’s no question you’re making your impact on the economic development side and you’ve, you found it very innovative. And congrats to you. We’ve, we’ve got to cut to commercial break in a minute. We have time for one more question. We’re here at the conference. You’re speaking today. Tell us a little bit, we’ve talking about and what do you hope to take away from today?
Teuta Sahatqija – Ambassador, Republic of Kosovo: 10:24
I will talk about Kosovo, about connectivity about health as a centerpiece in that connectivity and possibility of job creation of better, better connecting of doctors, hospitals, but also better services for, for patients. I think that Kosovo might be also a good place of patients who come from other parts of the world or because it’s affordable, the living costs are very low. The infrastructure is good and the doctors and medical equipment are really very modern. So I think overall for patients in Kosovo for patients around the world, for connectivity in region, in European union, hopefully now with the United States also, I think Kosovo becoming a good place for that.
Matt Bird – Host, Traders Network Show: 11:25
I am looking forward to seeing it develop and I hope to have you back on the show sometime. The ambassador of Kosovo, everybody. I’m Matt Bird, your host. We’re cutting to commercial break. We’ll be right back with our continued coverage of the Converge2Xcelerate conference. Don’t go away. You’re not going to want to miss our next guest.