“The palliative care services will be available in the regions within the next 1-2 years. We plan to acquire morphine pills and ensure their availability beginning from 2015. As for the other drugs, we don’t have a lack of pain relievers in Armenia at the moment”, Head of MoH Staff Souren Krmoyan said at the discussion entitled “Palliative Care: Recent Trends” held at the Media Center.
Krmoyan stressed that training respective specialists is a serious problem: successful implementation of palliative care in Armenia suggests recruitment of about 120 doctors and 600 nurses. “We don’t have these numbers, however, we have accomplished some educational programs and we are planning to initiate some courses in Yerevan State Medical University”.
Head of the Center for Rights Development Violeta Zopunyan thinks legislative reforms are of major importance now. “The most important reforms should be initiated as soon as possible: for instance, clinical standards that will allow medical disposals based on the pain of the patient”. Krmoyan assured clinical standards will be confirmed within a month.
“We’ve made the most progress in terms of policy development in Armenia. We have some medicines but we lack the most important medicines for pain relief for palliative care which is the morphine tablets. It’s very difficult to educate the physicians about the use of these medicines that they have no experience with. We were very pleased to hear from the minister that the government of Armenia is planning support for the expansion of palliative care beyond the pilot projects”, Stephen Connor said.
Suren Krmoyan added that a few years ago many people were not informed that they can live with no pain: “We have a problem with educating patients, their family members and even more so doctors”.
On April 3 the Media Center hosted a discussion entitked “Palliative Care: Recent Trends”. The speakers of the discussion were Stephen Connor, International Palliative Care Consultant, OSF, Suren Krmoyan, Head of Staff, Ministry of Health, Violet Zopunyan, Director of Right for Health Care Center.