Yerevan/Mediamax/. UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health Dainius Puras stated today that Armenian authorities need to step up their efforts to address challenges and inequalities in the country’s healthcare system.
Dainius Puras made that call in the statement he issued at the end of his one-week mission to Armenia.
“Armenia has made commendable reforms, but people’s enjoyment of the right to physical and mental health still faces serious barriers linked to an outdated approach to healthcare and persistent inequalities,” said the expert.
According to him, Armenia has good opportunities for making progress, but also has structural and systemic challenges, both in law and practice.
“Public expenditure in health is below 2% of GDP, one of the lowest in the world,” said Dainius Puras.
“The country is moving towards a mandatory health insurance scheme which will involve private insurers as third-party administrators for certain sectors of the population, mainly civil servants and socially disadvantaged groups. This could have significant implications regarding eligibility, coverage and financing, and could potentially create inequities and inefficiencies if strong oversight and transparency are not ensured,” added the expert.
He called on Armenian authorities to “abandon the legacy of outdated mental health policies and services reliant on large psychiatric hospitals and long-term care institutions”.
Dainius Puras also urged Armenia to pay particular attention to meeting the needs of groups such as children, migrants and refugees, people who use drugs, and people with disabilities, to help ensure it delivered the healthcare targets set by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.