By Kamila Aliyeva
The Uzbek government has decided to allocate additional funds for the purchase of medicines for public health institutes.
Uzbek Prime Minister Abdulla Aripov ordered the country’s finance ministry to provide the health ministry with an interest-free budget loan worth 300 billion soums by the end of September, according to the message published on the Uzbek news agency’s website podrobno.uz.
Moreover, the finance ministry has been entitled to allocate additional 240 billion soms from the state budget for the purchase of medicines, if necessary, by late 2017.
The allocation of 3 billion soums to the Republican foreign economic state enterprise O'zmedexport in the form of a contribution to its statutory fund will be another measure of support for the country’s public health sector.
Earlier, O'zmedexport was allowed to import socially important medicines under direct contracts at prices approved by the Republican Commission for Control of Provision of Health Facilities and Population with Medicines and Medical Products.
From January 1, 2017, prices for medicines are determined quarterly by the Republican Commission.
In total, the list of socially important drugs and products sold at fixed prices includes 116 domestic medicines (98) and medical products (18) and 227 imported medicines (201) and medical products (26).
The Uzbek government previously approved healthcare reforms meant to increase the number of qualified medical personnel in state clinics, improve emergency services and restrain drug prices.
Uzbekistan has a developed system of state medical facilities. Emergency care is free too.
The number of patients treated at state facilities rose 6% between 2010 and 2015, while the number of doctors working in those places rose only 4%, according to the Health Ministry. Some physicians joined private practices, while others left the field in search of higher incomes.
Kamila Aliyeva is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Kami_Aliyeva
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