After a significant decline in earlier decades, crude birth rates in Armenia remained at a nearly-constant 13.0–14.2 per 1000 people in the years 1998–2015.[1] In the same period, the crude death rate went from 8.6 to 9.3 per 1000 people.[2] Note that crude rates are not age-adjusted. Life expectancy at birth at 74.8 years was the 4th highest among the post-USSR countries in 2014.[3]

Healthcare system and funding

At the time of independence in 1991, no traces of pre-Soviet healthcare traditions were discernible. The Soviet healthcare system was highly centralized. The entire population was guaranteed free medical assistance, regardless of social status, and had access to a comprehensive range of secondary and tertiary care. After independence Armenia was not in a position to continue to fund it. Following the reform program all the hospitals and polyclinics, rural health units (including village health centres), and health posts from the previous system continue to function. Hospitals which were formerly accountable to the local administration and ultimately to the Ministry of Health are now autonomous and increasingly responsible for their own budgets and management.[4]

A Basic Benefits Package was established in 1999. This provided provides free specific health-care services, including medicines, to vulnerable segments of the population, including children, the elderly and disabled, impoverished people and injured military personnel. Since 2006, primary health care services have been free of charge.

In 2009, more than 50% of the national health budget was spent on hospitals. At the local community level, the system was weak and in rural areas often non-existent.[5]

Vast improvements of health services in Armenia took place in the twenty-first century, principally easier accessibility to health-care services and an Open Enrollment program which allows Armenians to freely choose their healthcare service provider.[6]

Health expenditures, as percentage of government spending were 4th lowest for the same group in 2008–2014, but beat peers in South Caucasus.[7] Health expenditures in per capita terms (at PPP at constant 2005 USD) were nearly permanently 5th lowest in the above group in years 1999–2014.[8] Out-of-pocket health expenditure were 4th highest in the same group in years 2003–2006 and 2010–2014.[9] In 2014 4.3% of health expenditures came from sources outside of Armenia.[10]

In 2015, current health expenditures as percentage of GDP reached 10.1% while 81.6% of all health spending's were paid out-of-pocket, both values record high since data became available in the year 2000.[11]

In 2019, the Government of Armenia made healthcare free for all citizens under the age of 18.

Corruption in the healthcare system

Main article: Corruption in Armenia

Since independence, Armenia's national health system faced criticism because of widespread corruption among doctors and other hospital workers. Because of reduced public funding after the economic collapse of the 1990s, many employees were forced to take bribes and take advantage of their position of power within their workplace in order to make a living. This problem still persists as of today and is one of the main concerns of elected officials.[12]

Specific diseases

HIV

Main article: HIV/AIDS in Armenia

Certified by World Health Organization Armenia was the first[13] in the European region and as of October 2017 is one of 10 countries worldwide (7 of which are islands) which proved to have eliminated mother-to-child HIV transmission.[14]

In 2010, HIV prevalence was estimated at 0.2% among adults aged 15 to 49.[15]

Poliomyelitis

There has been no recorded cases of poliomyelitis since data became available in the year 2002.[15]

Malaria

There were no new cases of malaria since the year 2006.[15]

Mortality

Infants

According to WHO data, infant mortality rate nearly halved from 2002 to 2015.[16] It dropped to 11.3 (0.1%) in 2017, the lowest rate since WHO records began in 1990.[17]

Children aged 5 to 14

The mortality rate for children aged 5 to 14 ranged from 0.18% to 0.21% in the years 1997-2017.[18]

Adults

The probability of dying aged 15–60 was estimated at 11.6% in the year 2016, nearly unchanged since 2000.[19]

Malnutrition and obesity

According to the survey[20] conducted in 2015-16, 9% of children in Armenia are stunted and of those, 4% are severely stunted, while in 2005-2010 18-19% of children were stunted. The survey also found that four percent of Armenian children are wasted (low weight for height) and two percent severely wasted. Survey also found was that Armenian children tend to be more overweight than stunted due to improper diets. Fourteen percent of children under five years of age are overweight.[21]

Undernourishment at 6.3% in 2014 of population remained nearly unchanged since 2007.[22]

Obesity rate is 19.5% in Armenia in 2017, which is lower than in all regional countries and nearly all European countries.[23][24]

Smoking

Tobacco policy in Armenia is as of February 2018 still very permissive with almost no enforcement of any smoke-restricting laws. Meanwhile, Cannabis in Armenia is currently illegal for all uses.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Chart – World Development Indicators (Google Public Data Explorer)". www.google.com. Retrieved 2018-02-24.
  2. ^ "Chart – World Development Indicators (Google Public Data Explorer)". www.google.com. Retrieved 2018-02-24.
  3. ^ "Chart – World Development Indicators (Google Public Data Explorer)". www.google.com. Retrieved 2018-02-24.
  4. ^ "Health care system in Armenia". AP. 2005. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  5. ^ "Armenians struggle for health care and medicines". WHO. July 2009. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  6. ^ Knapp, Caprice; Madden, Vanessa; Fowler-Kerry, Susan (2011). Pediatric palliative care : global perspectives. Dordrecht: Springer. p. 84. ISBN 978-9400725690.
  7. ^ "Chart – World Development Indicators (Google Public Data Explorer)". www.google.com. Retrieved 2018-02-24.
  8. ^ "Chart – World Development Indicators (Google Public Data Explorer)". www.google.com. Retrieved 2018-02-24.
  9. ^ "Chart – World Development Indicators (Google Public Data Explorer)". www.google.com. Retrieved 2018-02-24.
  10. ^ "Chart – World Development Indicators (Google Public Data Explorer)". www.google.com. Retrieved 2018-02-24.
  11. ^ "GHO | By category | Out-of-pocket expenditure as percentage of current health expenditure (CHE) (%) - Data by country". WHO. Retrieved 2019-05-03.
  12. ^ "Minister Cautious About Corruption in Healthcare".
  13. ^ "Armenia is the only country having the certificate". www.hhpress.am. Retrieved 2018-02-24.
  14. ^ "WHO: GLOBAL GUIDANCE ON CRITERIA AND PROCESSES FOR VALIDATION: ELIMINATION OF MOTHER-TO-CHILD TRANSMISSION OF HIV AND SYPHILIS".
  15. ^ a b c "GHO | By country | Armenia - statistics summary (2002 - present)". WHO. Retrieved 2019-05-03.
  16. ^ "GHO | By country | Armenia - statistics summary (2002 - present)". apps.who.int. Retrieved 2018-01-19.
  17. ^ "GHO | By category | Probability of dying per 1000 live births - Data by country". WHO. Retrieved 2019-05-03.
  18. ^ "GHO | By category | Probability of dying per 1000 children, aged 5 to 14 - Data by country". WHO. Retrieved 2019-05-03.
  19. ^ "WHO | World Health Organization". gamapserver.who.int. Retrieved 2019-05-03.
  20. ^ "Ժողովրդագրության և առողջության հարցերի հետազոտություն 2015-16" (PDF).
  21. ^ "Overweight, But Malnourished: The Impact of Poor Diets on Armenia's Children". www.evnreport.com. Retrieved 2019-05-05.
  22. ^ "Chart – World Development Indicators (Google Public Data Explorer)". www.google.com. Retrieved 2018-02-24.
  23. ^ "World Rankings: Obesity Rates by Country (July 2017)". Renew Bariatrics. 2017-09-23. Retrieved 2018-01-19.
  24. ^ "Prevalence of obesity in the world". Lay summary.