Azerbaijani Health Ministry, National Confederation of Entrepreneurs ink MoU [PHOTO]
By Sabina Mammadli
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the Azerbaijani Ministry of Health and the National Confederation of Entrepreneurs (Employers) Organizations of Azerbaijan in Baku on July 1, Azernews reports.
The document was signed by Minister of Health Teymur Musayev and Vice President of National Confederation of Entrepreneurs Vugar Zeynalov.
The MoU will cement cooperation between the state and private sector and contribute to its further development.
A total of 15 million medical services were provided in the public and private sectors of Azerbaijan from January through May 2022, Board Chairman of the Azerbaijani State Agency on Mandatory Health Insurance Zaur Aliyev said.
The remarks were made during public discussions on "Business Prospects in Healthcare Sphere” on July 1.
Noting that significant reforms have been carried out in the country over the past 10 years, Aliyev specified that the possibilities of private medicine and the legal framework regulating its activities have been expanded.
“We are working in the field of partial transfer of mandatory health insurance to the private sector. In this direction, we held relevant meetings in Türkiye and got acquainted with the experience of this country," he noted.
He also pointed out that in Azerbaijan the state gives support to private clinics with the provision of relevant equipment.
"Within just five months of 2022, 45 tenders for the purchase of medical equipment were held in the country. Small and medium businesses' representatives were the winners of these tenders," the official added.
Speaking at the conference, Health Minister Teymur Musayev noted that public-private partnership in the field of healthcare and business is one of the promising sectors for the further development of medicine.
According to Musayev, the private healthcare sector in Azerbaijan is rapidly growing and developing.
"Nearly 1,400 business entities operate in the area of medicine in Azerbaijan. State support for the private sector contributed to the growth of their number," he noted.
Furthermore, the minister added that the private sector also favors the development of education in the field of medicine. He noted that today, most graduates of medical universities work in private clinics, and to ensure the quality of provided medical services the state conducts appropriate control.
Similarly, Board Chairman of Small and Medium Business Development Agency Orkhan Mammadov said that Azerbaijani SMBDA has successful experience in creating sub-sectors in the medical field.
"The agency, together with Gill Med LLC, based on a public-private partnership model, supported the creation of enterprises in Gobu settlement and Zangilan region (Aghali village) for the production of medical textiles, sterile surgical kits, and overalls,” Mammadov said.
Further, he added that these enterprises manufacture outerwear and overalls for medical staff and patients, sterile surgical and dental kits, medical masks, medical gowns, headwear, and several other medical textile products.
“Since this project is focused not only on business but also on the social sphere, 90 percent of the employees of enterprises are citizens from vulnerable groups of the population," the official added.
During the same event, the health minister also informed that Azerbaijan has become one of the first countries to apply to the World Health Organization to obtain tests for the detection of the monkeypox virus.
According to Musayev, these tests have already been officially transferred to the head of the WHO office in Azerbaijan.
"They will be delivered to Azerbaijan in the next two to three days," he added.
Further, he added that no cases of monkeypox have been detected in Azerbaijan.
Noting that the virus is transmitted through close contact between a healthy person and an infected person, he stressed that it has its specific symptoms and is detected based on the results of laboratory tests.
The minister also said that it's not planned to conduct vaccination against monkeypox in Azerbaijan.
"This follows the strategy of the World Health Organization and there is currently no need for a monkeypox vaccine," he added.
No specific measures related to monkeypox are envisaged at the border crossing points of Azerbaijan either.
"Azerbaijan completely follows these decisions and recommendations," Musayev said.
Additionally, the health minister informed that phase III clinical trials of the Turkish-manufactured Turkovac COVID-19 vaccine have commenced in Azerbaijan.
He noted that the results achieved so far are positive.
"We'll be making a full statement after getting the lab test results conducted by Türkiye," Musayev said.
Later, he noted that Azerbaijan successfully continues the process of vaccination against COVID-19.
According to him, 90 percent of risk group citizens have already been vaccinated.
“These people even received a booster dose of the vaccine. I am glad that the civil responsibility of our citizens is at a high level. According to the statistics of vaccination of the population in total, this figure is about 74 percent,” Musayev highlighted.
Further, Musayev noted that there should be taken necessary measures for the autumn season by the WHO recommendations as the coronavirus brings new surprises every time.
“We can talk about the end of the pandemic if we will go through the autumn season without a significant increase in COVID-19 cases," Musayev added.
The minister noted that people often attend mass events in summer, and there is a relative increase in the number of COVID-19 cases and added that currently, the epidemiological situation in Azerbaijan is stable.
"There are practically no complications. The number of hospitalizations is quite low to date, the epidemiological situation is under full control. Appropriate steps will be taken if there is any significant increase in COVID-19 cases," Musayev said.
Talking on the matter, the SMBDA chairman stressed that the first days of the COVID-19 pandemic showed the dependence of our country on the supply of most needed medical supplies.
According to him, high duties on imported goods lead to an increase in the cost of services.
"We consider it necessary to take support measures to replace the import of medicines, medical equipment, and other drugs into the country, to stimulate the production of these products by local entrepreneurs,” Mammadov said.
Moreover, he noted that it is proposed to introduce progressive PPP (Public Private Partnership) models, and the development of benefit mechanisms, taking into account the fact that this area is science-intensive and financially intensive.
“Registration of products imported into the country by entrepreneurs sometimes leads to large losses of time. The period of testing products in the relevant laboratories leads to its deterioration, additional loss of time, and other costs,” he added.
Then Mammadov proposed optimizing interdepartmental coordination and stimulating the creation of private laboratories in this regard.
Sabina Mammadli is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @SabinaMmdl
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