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Decision to Charge Pregnant Women for Medical Services Temporarily Annulled

Armenia's Ministry of Health yesterday evening withdrew its decision to charge women who experience complications during their pregnancies 5,000 dram (about $12.10 USD) per day for medical assistance. This news was conveyed to Epress.am by Women's Resource Center of Armenia representative Elvira Meliksetyan, who received the news from the ministry. 

"Without a question, there will be no payment for pregnant women. The ministry official said they piloted payment programs in a few hospitals, but they will be removed," she said. 

The ministry also had decided that medical examinations in polyclinics will cost 500 to 1,000 AMD ($1.21–$2.42 USD). This decision will be temporarily annulled and put up for discussion.

Recall, healthcare minister Derenik Dumanyan on Thursday said by charging for medical services that were previously free the state is fighting the shadow economy

The minister said the state allocates more money to hospitals for miscarriages at 22 weeks of the pregnancy than miscarriages that occurred at 19 weeks, and medical establishments are trying to take advantage of the difference.

"What can I do to eliminate this violation? One option is to say I'm issuing an order, I will dismiss anyone who commits such a violation. He'll come again and convince me on a professional level that it was at 22 weeks, it was 23 weeks and not 21 [weeks]. He has the right to be mistaken by a two-week margin. But what should I do so my statistics are factual? So I have to make these two prices equal," said Dumanyan. 

Naturally, many were unhappy with the healthcare ministry's decision. The Women's Resource Center yesterday declared that it would protest outside the RA Ministry of Healthcare today.