“Necessity and Problems to Introduce Compulsory Medical Insurance System”
The International Center for Human Development issued a report on the necessity of introducing compulsory medical insurance in Armenia and the obstacles to the process. According to statistical data cited in the report, the number of people who are aware of the need to apply for a doctor's care but they do not is increasing year by year in Armenia.

According to the report, the number of doctors who have not applied for medical care has increased almost twice in the last 7 years. If the rate was 19.2% in 2009, it was 35.2% in 2012, and in 2016 - 36.8%.

Ashot Khurshudyan, Expert at “International Center for Human Development” and David Melik-Nubaryan, Acting Head of the Department of Medical Care Policy of the RA Ministry of Health Care, expressed their opinions during the discussion entitled “Introduction of Compulsory Medical Insurance System in Armenia” at Media Center on September 13.  

Touching upon the issue, the representative of the Ministry of Health mentioned that recognizing the importance of the problem and the need to have healthy citizens a strategy has been developed according to which compulsory health insurance in Armenia will be introduced gradually over the next five years.

“From October 1, medical insurance will be available for 100,000 state employees, and starting from the next year it will be available for 612,000 socially disadvantaged people. In both cases, the government will pay insurance premiums,” Melik-Nubaryan said.  

He also expresseս an opinion that the introduction of a compulsory medical insurance system will have a positive impact on the quality of care provided.

Ashot Khurshudyan, considering it necessary and urgent to introduce a compulsory medical insurance system, says at the same time that we are not yet ready to introduce the system at once and that is why preparatory time is needed.

“It is necessary to look at numbers, calculations, what it means for healthcare facilities, employers, workers, state, and doctors. The whole nation will be involved in this process,” Khurshudyan said.

According to the expert, the change of society's behavior is of great importance as the society should be ready to live in another reality, and should also increase the trust towards doctors and health care facilities.

“People need to change their behavior, and medical insurance assumes it because when it is invested, other pipes are closed down or are expensive. That is to say, we need confidence in the system,” Khurshudyan said.

David Melik-Nubaryan mentions that at present one percent of Armenian citizens have health insurance, mostly employees of companies who pay attention to health issues.

The speaker also assures that compulsory insurance will not be a burden of a serious nature, moreover, in time, citizens will see the efficiency of the system.   

Derenik Malkhasyan, editor/events coordinator at “Media Center”

To contact the author please send an email to derenikmalkhasian@gmail.com.

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