Parents pay for free of charge medical services


Although health care for children with disabilities is free of charge in Armenia, some of the parents in Kapan pay 5-600 thousand AMD for treatment. This data was published in the report of the World Vision Armenia Kapan Area Development Program “Medical services for children with disabilities in Kapan” and on July 3 it was discussed in Kapan.

The report is based on the interviews conducted among 90 parents or other family members of children with disabilities in Kapan and neighboring villages. The representatives of the medical personnel who provide services to children with disabilities, including 6 family doctors who work with children with disabilities filled out the questionnaires.

In the result of the survey it has been found out that 11 people paid for therapy 5 000-90 000 AMD, four people paid 20 – 50 000 AMD for consultation. 20 people spent 5 000-160 000 AMD for medication, for acquisition of different appliances 12 people paid 13 000-600 000 AMD. Six parents paid 15 000-250 000 for rehabilitation.

”There is no rehabilitation treatment is conducted in our area while children need it and parents cannot afford paid services. Consequently, 45,6% of respondents go to doctor every six month while 28,9% once a year”, says Anush Mezhlumyan, Specialist from World Vision Armenia Kapan Area Development Programme.

It has to be mentioned that UN Convention on the Rights of the Child states that “States Parties recognize the right of the child to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health and to facilities for the treatment of illness and rehabilitation of health.”

As per Article 24 para.1 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities,"States Parties recognize that persons with disabilities have the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health without discrimination on the basis of disability." These rights are also envisaged in the domestic legislation.

Head of the health care department of Syuniq marzpetaran Nane Gevorgyan rules out that parents spent money for treatment if they know the regulation. She believes many parents simply are not aware that should take the kids regularly to the same doctor who will refer them to the appropriate treatment.

“There are one or two cases per year when expensive technologies are required and the state covers those expenses partially. If the parents followed the regulation and paid after they have been referred by doctor, I am ready to address all these cases on the level of the ministry”, informs Nane Gevorgyan.

Majority of the children receive the treatment in the hospitals of the capital because hospital and outpatient clinic of Kapan are not equipped with necessary appliances and technical means. It specifically concerns the rehabilitation and physiotherapy as well as complicated surgeries. Significant part of the medication for children with disabilities is not licensed in Republic of Armenia and is possible to buy only in certain pharmacies or outside the country.

Head of the pediatric department of Kapan outpatient clinic Rita Tadevosyan informs that their resources are poor and they cannot prescribe more efficient medication because it is expensive.

“We addressed the Ministry to allow us prescribe more efficient medication free of charge. As for the rehabilitation treatment, we have 22 children suffering the infantile paralysis who receive rehabilitation treatment 3-4 times in a year”, says Rita Tadevosyan.

The report also addressed the following gap: there is no specialized data base on children with disabilities in Kapan and Kajaran because no statistical data is registered on the medical service for children with disabilities. 30 of 186 indicated addresses of children with disabilities do not comply with the factual place of residence.

“Therapeutic department of the Medical Center and the outpatient clinic of Kapan do not have ramps, whereas the examination rooms are located mostly on the second and third floors.Those institutions do not have elevators either. Even though there were enough seats for visitors and patients who came to the institutions, the seats were worn-out and uncomfortable, especially for children with disabilities. The sanitary-hygienic state of bathrooms was satisfactory. However, they were not adjusted to accommodate the needs of children with disabilities”, is mentioned in the report.

There is a problem of integration to the society for children with disabilities, in some cases parents avoid to send the kids to the school, forbid them to visit the public places.

The monitoring has been implemented by the World Vision Armenia in the frames of “Grassroots voice for human rights mobilization” Kapan Area Development Programme. The programme is implemented by the Helsinki Committee of Armenia and Civil Society Institute NGO.

Zara Sahakyan
Karine Ionesyan