By Sara Israfilbayova
Today, Azerbaijani government is implementing mandatory medical insurance within the health care reform framework, which insures citizens to receive free, high-quality medical care and eliminates unofficial payments from the health system.
The mandatory insurance is an integral part of health care reform, which will increase the financial capacity of the health system. The State Agency for Compulsory Health Care Insurance, established this February, aims to ensure access to health services for all citizens.
Including some 1,800 medical services, the mandatory medical insurance is a new and innovative direction in the social policy of the Azerbaijan. Among the services covered by the insurance, are inspection, treatment, diagnostic procedures, surgical procedures, and other services.
At the initial stage, the cost of the mandatory medical insurance policy will be low.
Azerbaijani Deputy Prime Minister Ali Ahmadov made the remarks at the press conference on November 30.
Ahmadov stressed that the attitude towards pilot projects carried out on mandatory medical insurance in Mingachevir and Yevlakh is positive. “There were many appeals for medical services, which is connected with free medical services and their high level,” he explained.
Ahmadov said that in the future mandatory health insurance will cover insurance for disabled people, children and pensioners throughout the country: “
“We calculated how much money should be allocated additionally. To get full mandatory health insurance, now we need 2-2.5 times more funds than we have. Today, there are 1.5 million employed people in the country. We also have offers for the non-working population. The unemployed population will have the right to use compulsory health insurance, making payment once or twice a year,” he said.
As for the services included in the mandatory health insurance package, the Deputy Prime Minister noted that in the future it should be calculated.
“A package of mandatory medical insurance will be determined. We will try to cover this medical service package with adequate medical care. For 1-2 years it is impossible to fully switch to compulsory medical insurance throughout the country. Next year, we will work on mandatory health insurance to provide a smooth transition.”
Further, he touched upon the illegal employment in the country and said that 1.5 million out of 4.7 million people are officially employed today.
“We want to get a large volume of payments to the state budget by eliminating informal employment,” Ahmadov mentioned.
He went on to say that since 2003, 1.9 million jobs have been created in Azerbaijan, adding that the government is carrying out serious work to increase employment in Azerbaijan, and this brings its positive results.
“During the presidential elections of 2003, one of the main directions in the electoral platform of Ilham Aliyev was the creation of 600,000 new jobs, which was successfully accomplished, the unemployment rate decreased significantly,”Ahmadov said.
He said that the decrease in the unemployment rate contributed to the improvement of the well-being of the population, and the poverty level has decreased 10-fold and now stands at 4-5 percent.
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