The speakers were Davit Melik-Nubaryan, department chief of medical aid policy at RA ministry of health, Lilit Amirkhanyan, a person who overcame cancer, Violeta Zopunyan, project manager at center for rights development NGO.
In Armenia the privileged groups having the right for free medical aid, diseases and countries are defined by the law and state resolutions. By the law the persons having 1st , 2nd and 3rd group disability enjoy the right for free medical aid.
Lilit Amirkhanyan spoke about the challenges a patient bumps into when she comes to know that she has a serious health issue. “Red-tape, queues in the clinics and hospitals for papers that sound ridiculous for the patient. In hospitals they demand a paper for free medical aid, then they push you to sign another paper with which you wave the free aid and you know in advance that you are going to pay for the surgery and medical aid.”
According to Lilit Amirkhanyan the challenges facing patients with oncological problems are many, ranging from psychological, when the patient is alone with her disease, to financial.
Davit Melik-Nubaryan noted that the system is stepping into a phase of new development and stability therefore the existing problems are normal. «In the RA we have the principle of limited budget in effect. Bilateral contracts are concluded with the medical institutions. It is based on whether how many patients will get treatment on monthly basis. The problem is not only typical of Armenia, it is prevalent in Canada, Italy, Norway. In Italy to go through computer tomography people have to wait for 20 days on the average. We don’t say it is normal but problems are everywhere.”
Violeta Zopunyan noted: “When it comes to high quality medical services we should consider the rights of both patients and medical workers . The calls we receive mainly deal with lack of information. The patients are not aware of their rights, they don’t know where to go, how to obtain disability group, they don’t know the regulations. And the same problem is prevalent among medical workers. We actively work with medical workers and based on our experience we can say the problem there is connected with the complexity of legal acts.”
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