Earlier, treatment was free for children up to seven years old. Now another 200,000 children will be included in the programme
In Armenia, children and teenagers under 18 will receive free hospital care, for which an additional 12 billion drams ($25 million) will be allocated from the state budget.
How it was, how it will be
Before that, free treatment was given only to children:
• Younger than seven years old,
• Had a disability,
• From families where multiple individuals had disabilities,
• Boys 14-15 years of age (before draft age).
The Ministry of Health says about 200,000 additional children will be involved in the programme now.
Armenian Minister of Health Arsen Torosyan touched on the issue on his Facebook page:
“In fact, there is no difference whether one is six or seven years old. There is no logic why a six-year-old should receive (medical) services for free, and a seven-year-old cannot. Therefore, it was decided that the programme would be expanded.”
What other changes have been made?
Another 1.2 billion drams (about $2.5 million) will be allocated from the state budget for operations on stenting of cardiac vessels, as well as for the treatment of acute and ischemic heart attacks.
In addition, 900 million drams (about $2 million) will be provided for the treatment of tumors.
The number of ambulance crews will also be increased – not only in the capital, but also in the regions. An additional 500 million drams (a little more than a million dollars) will be allocated for this from the budget.
What else is treatable free of charge?
Oncological operations have also become free in Armenia. Until recently, in case of necessity of surgical intervention, the state paid only a small portion of the amount to cancer patients.
In addition, from February 1, all patients with cerebral stroke receive free medical care, regardless of social status.
About 400 million drams (about 825,000 USD) were allocated for the implementation of this programme. Before the start of the project, the Ministry of Health announced that it would significantly reduce the death rate from stroke and reduce the risks of disability by 39 percent.
Torosyan – Armenia’s most popular minister?
Arsen Torosyan is one of the ministers who appeared in the government after the 2018 revolution.
The public’s perception of him was at first wary – this was due to the fact that he took unpopular initiatives in Armenia, advocating for vaccination against the papillomavirus, while many believed the vaccine could be dangerous and be risky.
By 2021, he intends to implement a system of compulsory health insurance.
He has already introduced helicopter ambulances – if necessary, doctors can reach patients in remote settlements and patients can be transported to hospitals in the capital.
He has also begun a fight against corruption and against kickbacks in medical institutions, and also raised wages for doctors and nurses.