Health - Public Service Delivery - Asia and the Pacific

ArMed: Opening Up Healthcare in Armenia

Armenia / April 13, 2022

SUMMARY

In Armenia, signing up for state-funded medical appointments used to be inconvenient and inefficient for citizens. The process was also very opaque, allowing for corruption risks like bribery to take place.

Now, reformers are using the ArMed platform, an initiative launched through their OGP action plan, to improve the transparency and accessibility of state-funded healthcare and improve public confidence.

English Transcript (Abridged)

Prior to April 2020, Armenian’s receiving state-funded medical assistance had to undergo a time-consuming process. After receiving a paper referral for the treatment or diagnosis, they were supposed to be listed in the relevant medical institution (hospital, lab, etc.) within a month in order to receive the service.

As the budget for the state-guaranteed free of charge medical services is limited and the financial provision is implemented through monthly thresholds, listing creates complications because of the information inaccessibility. Which medical institution provides the given services with the state reimbursement? Which medical institution hasn’t yet reached the threshold?

In order to receive the answer to such questions, the patient, with the referral in their hand, had to go from one medical institution to another (make a call, at best), stand in queues, negotiate, and appear in person in order to be listed. Then they’d receive their appointment and have to visit the medical institution again to receive the service.

Besides being time-consuming, the listing procedure was not transparent and created corruption risks. For example, in order to provide services to the patients “out of the queue”, illegal payment methods or other non-formal mechanisms were used. To receive timely and effective medical support, patients were offered to receive services on a paid basis, for which the “state funding is over” famous expression was used.

This issue is not a problem anymore thanks to the ArMed platform. The operation of the tool is based on electronic referral and automatic provision of thresholds. ArMed was created through a commitment in the Republic of Armenia’s 2018-2020 OGP Action Plan. The aim is to increase public awareness, ensure transparency in the referral process, and allow decision makers and medical institutions to better support patient comfort and needs and apply targeted solutions.

But remember! The tool is nothing – the government’s efforts are in vain – unless we, as citizens, are using it. We must use the tool in order to make it viable and ensure its efficiency. So keep in mind the “armed.am” web page when you need medical services.

Last updated: April 25, 2022

ABOUT THIS STORY
COUNTRY / LOCALITY
Armenia
CONTENT TYPE
Video
DEVELOPMENTAL STAGE
Complete
FOCUS LEVEL OF GOVERNMENT
National

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