Medical insurance in Azerbaijan depends on healthcare reform

Azerbaijan, Baku, June 21 / Trend I.Khalilova /

Medical insurance development in Azerbaijan should be accompanied by serious reforms in the health care system, Deputy Finance Minister Azer Bayramov said.

"The medical insurance is a very important question, but first must be changed the principle of work and funding in the health care system." Bayramov said.

Additionally, he said, introducing medical insurance can lead to a revival of the financial market, and the improvement of medical service quality. However, serious reforms should be carried out before this is done.

Parliamentary Social Policy Committee Chairman Hadi Rajabli believes the inclusion of this type of insurance to the law "On compulsory types of insurance," which is discussed in the parliament in its third reading, will speed its implementation.

"Although funds for medical insurance are laid in the state budget for three years, they remain undeveloped, and the further implementation of pilot projects on the medical insurance is not widely used," Rajabli said.

At the initial stage, Rajabli said, budget funding should be retained until the formation of a specific fund.

Parliamentary Economic Policy Committee Chairman Ziyad Samadzade proposed to start discussions in fall at the parliamentary committee on social policy, together with representatives of ministries of finance, health care, with a view to create the necessary medical insurance system in the country.

"Today, health spending per capita does not exceed 40 manat, although within five years they have grown by 4-5 times. However, these costs reach 2,000-3,000 euros in European countries," Samadzade said. "Under the current circumstances, if the state limits these costs, the health care system will face big problems."

He said IMF experts have criticized the increased budget expenditures in Azerbaijan. But it will be possible to cut them after reaching the optimal level of budget expenditures on health, and then it will be necessary to identify ways to create a medical insurance system in Azerbaijan.

The law "On Medical Insurance" was adopted in 1999. Azerbaijan has studied the experience of four countries including Germany, Holland, Norway and Russia to make use of this mechanism.

The medical insurance is carried out in the form of compulsory and voluntary.

Compulsory medical insurance, being part of the state social insurance, provides a population with medical and medicinal aid in an amount corresponding to the program of compulsory health insurance.

Voluntary health insurance in addition to the established program of compulsory health insurance provides medical and other public services through a contract for voluntary health insurance.

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