On 9 December, the Annual Anti-Corruption Award Ceremony was held on the occasion of the International Anti-Corruption Day. The event was organized on the initiative of the CSO Anti-Corruption Coalition of Armenia and the Armenian Lawyers’ Association within the framework of the EU-funded “Commitment Constructive Dialogue” project.
The programs and recommendations on the 4 target areas (Education, Health, State Revenue Collection and Police) of the RA Anti-Corruption Strategy 2015-2018, were discussed at the event.
Mr. Tevan Poghosyan, Chairman of the Governing Board of Armenian CSOs’ Anticorruption Coalition facilitated the discussion of Anti-Corruption Program in Healthcare sector.
He noted that civil society should form the environment in which the government will begin to be guided by public interest and the interests of the private sector will be minimized.
Deputy Minister of Healthcare Sergey Khachatryan, who was present at the discussion, said that one of the priority issues in the system is funding, which in turn creates corruption risks.
“The physician creates his own demand and satisfies his needs, and there are few professions that can be so,” Sergey Khachatryan said. According to him, a question ‘how to struggle against it?’ arises. International experience indicates that the doctor’s work should be regulated to the possible extent. We should try to digitize at least the health status assessment process and to get a decision-making framework based on that objective description.
“In our reality, we well know about the cooperation between doctors and pharmaceutical organizations,” Ms Arpine Yeghikyan, Board Member of the Armenian Lawyers Association raised this issue during the conversation. She mentioned that after the consultation the doctors would take promotional booklets from the drawer and prescribe the same drug to 4-5 patients in the queue.
In response to the raised issue, Sergey Khachatryan mentioned that this phenomenon is widespread and not only in Armenia. “The problem is that when it comes to writing a prescription in the Republic of Armenia, immediate reaction is caused both among the doctors and the public, because we have forgotten the medical principle that drugs should be written off on a prescription and have simplified the process of writing out the medication, which led to the fact that prescription is written on paper on any piece of paper with the name of a firm,” he said.
Mr. Khachatryan said that the introduction of an electronic system in the healthcare system could make changes in this and similar corruption risks. “In the first quarter of next year, an electronic platform for prescribing medicines will begin to work. It will be possible to see exactly which doctor has prescribed the drugs, how many times and how much drugs and for which diseases.”