Mandatory health insurance nearing introduction
By Mirsaid Ibrahimzade
In recent years, Azerbaijan has taken solid steps to improve medical sector, including enhancing the efficiency of health care, implementing infrastructure projects and application of effective policies which are aimed to increase the transparency of the health care system in the country.
Expensive medical services should be covered by compulsory health insurance and should be accessible to the public. So necessity of this type of insurance is undeniable. From January 1, 2020, compulsory health insurance will be applied in Azerbaijan.
An event dedicated to completion of the twinning project “Support for Mandatory Health Insurance System in Azerbaijan” was held in Baku on July 11.
Zaur Aliyev, Chairman of the State Agency on Mandatory Health Insurance, said at the event that the agency takes preparatory measures in anticipation of the application of the compulsory health insurance. A package of services and offers on tariffs is being prepared, and a process that determines the methods of financing mandatory health insurance is being completed.
It is noteworthy that the pilot project on compulsory health insurance has been implemented in Azerbaijan since late 2016. It currently covers the city of Mingachevir and the Yevlakh and Aghdash regions. The project is being implemented by the State Agency on Mandatory Health Insurance, which began operating in February 2016.
Noting that before the end of the year, educational activities will be held in other regions of the country to familiarize the population with health insurance and its benefits, Zaur Aliyev emphasized that international experts highly estimated this pilot project and other activities.
During the first year of the project implementation, a lot of attention was paid to the number of services and their accessibility for the population, and in the second year, the greater attention was paid to quality. A plan for a full transition of the entire country to mandatory medical insurance was prepared.
At the event, Zaur Aliyev also noted that the salaries of doctors will be increased in Azerbaijan. The increase will affect primarily the basic salaries, and doctors will be able to gain additional earnings in the form of bonuses for services rendered.
He added that the use of the Mandatory Health Insurance system contributes to reducing the outflow of doctors from the country’s regions to Baku.
Speaking at the event, Edward Carwardine, UNICEF Representative to Azerbaijan, stated that the mandatory health insurance system which will soon be launched in Azerbaijan will expand the range of medical services.
Carwardine stressed that a lot of work has been done to determine the optimal tariffs in accordance with the requirements of the labor market. He added that work was also carried out on the preparation of packages of medical services.
The UNİCEF representative noted that in developed countries, the requirements of quality standards in public and private clinics are one of the important tasks. Giving a high appraisal to the preparatory process for introducing the compulsory health insurance system, Carwardine said that this is an investment in human capital, which will bring positive results in the future.
Mirsaid Ibrahimzade is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @MirsaidIbrahim1
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