Tigran Sargsyan Discussed Health Care Issues

RIA Oreanda, Russia
July 18 2008

Tigran Sargsyan Discussed Health Care Issues

Yerevan. "OREANDA-NEWS . July 18, 2008. RA Prime Minister Tigran
Sargsyan called a consultative meeting to discuss questions relating
to the launching of 8 health care centers of regional relevance in
Armenia, among which the regional center of oncology, the regional
medical rehabilitation center, the regional auricle -transplantation
center, the Armenian Bone Marrow Donor Registry and regional stem cell
transplantation center; the regional center of cardiovascular surgery,
the regional center of diagnostics and sterility care, the regional
center of surgical reproductology, the regional stomatological center
and the regional spa rehabilitation center in Jermuk.

The meeting was attended by RA Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of
Territorial Administration, the Minister of Health Care, MPs, the head
of national assembly’s standing commission on health care affairs,
heads of health service institutions and experts representing various
directions of the sphere of public health services, the rector of the
Yerevan State Medical University after M. Heratsi, heads of
managements of public health services of regional administrations and
the Yerevan Mayor’s Office, representatives of civil society
organizations dealing with public health care issues, the Mayor of
Jermuk town.

At the beginning of the meeting, the Prime Minister thanked those
present for having accepted his invitation and for readiness to
debate. The Prime Minister said in particular:

"Dear colleagues, we have informed you in advance that a concept is
under development concerning the creation of a system of public health
services which is ambitious enough. This ambitious program can take
effect in case all of you are involved and assistance us therewith. We
see such involvement as your direct participation in the realization
of this program. And this means that you should take part first of all
in the very development of the project, in the discussions preceding
the finalization stage. You should feel yourselves as the proprietors
of this project because at your direct participation he should be
developed, modified and taken to its logical completion. Then the
project will have to be approved, and first of all, naturally, on the
part of the Ministry of Health and the government. Afterwards, we will
dare to submit it to our colleagues from the council of national
competitiveness. Also, upon receipt of your approval, we are going to
present this concept to the international association of Armenian
doctors which has good traditions of discussing pan-Armenian projects,
having in mind the idea of making this project a pan-Armenian one and
to provide for a maximum involvement of our compatriots in the reforms
which are carried out in sphere of public health services. This is our
vision. How we shall work with you and how we plan to realize our idea
about the creation of the public health center? Considering the fact
that we have presented this project in written form to all of you in
advance, I hope that you have come around with comments and proposals
which will make our discussion more effective and targeted."

Then the Prime Minister informed the meeting participants that the
Government plans to increase sharply the allocations to the sphere of
public health services over the next 3 years, as already discussed and
approved under a program of medium-term expenditures. At the same
time, Tigran Sargsyan noted the critical need for improving
drastically the quality and the level of health services. Speaking
about the establishment of 8 regional health care centers in Armenia,
the Prime Minister emphasized the importance of ensuring relative
competitive advantage for them which will make these centers
attractive for foreign investors as well, considering that in addition
to public funds, the government intends to attract private
investments, too. The Prime Minister similarly suggested discussing
how accurately the target areas had been selected for establishing
such centers.

During the discussion, Minister of Health Care A. Kushkyan noted that
the presented programs are accessible to everyone: they are posted on
the website of the Ministry of Health. They have been put into
circulation in advance and, according to the Minister of Health,
numerous opinions, basically positive ones have already been received,
there are observations and recommendations on the basis of which
corrections and completions have been made. Then the head of the
office of program implementation of the health care ministry
S. Khachatryan presented the programs concerning the creation of the
above-said 8 centers, noting that the program as adopted by government
decision No. 380, stipulates the development of a strategy and an
action plan for turning Armenia into a regional health center in the
directions of such public health services as are in great demand in
our region. Based on this program, on May 4 2008 the RA Minister of
Health Care was told by the Prime Minister to set up a working group
and, within a month’s period, to develop a concept of the national
public health project, by discussing it with corresponding experts and
stakeholders. The working group, according to the speaker, turned to
all interested organizations, establishments of public health services
asking them to present proposals and recommendations which should have
as a basis the following goals behind the creation of regional health
care centers: development of the national health services sector and
medical science, introduction of modern medical technologies in the
sphere of medical services, cooperation with the Diaspora and
corresponding specialized international structures, provision of
relevant services to Armenian nationals and foreign citizens in order
to cover a regional spectrum.

Welcoming the government’s attention to the sphere of public health
services, the meeting participants presented their views, comments and
observations on the matter.

Summing up discussions, the Prime Minister assured them that the
presented comments and proposals will be examined in detail and went
on to inform that the submitted projects will undergo most serious
examination with the involvement of best international experts. Such
examination will be useful in terms of getting an idea of where
Armenia stands with regard to health services and what opportunities
it has for implementation of such ambitious programs. Tigran Sargsyan
promised to inform periodically all meeting participants on the state
of affairs by publishing further information on the discussed projects
at the website of the RA Ministry of Health Care in the hope to have
new proposals and recommendations on the part of stakeholders.