The Ministry of Health (MOH) of the Republic of Armenia (RA) hosted a meeting for the MOH Senior Management and USAID Health and Social Reform Office to discuss the findings from the evaluation of the Child Health State Certificate Program of the Ministry of Health. The Center for Health Services Research and Development of the American University of Armenia College of Health Sciences (CHS) conducted this evaluation with financial support from the USAID Mobilizing Action Against Corruption (MAAC) project, and presented their findings during the meeting.
The Child Health State Certificate Program of the Ministry of Health, which guarantees free in-patient healthcare services for children 7 years-of-age and under, has been in effect in Armenia since January 1, 2011. The nationwide evaluation of the effectiveness of the Child Health State Certificate Program was conducted during the period February to August 2011. The evaluation comprised of national quantitative baseline and mid-term surveys with parents of patients and qualitative in-depth interviews and focus group discussions with health providers and policy makers. The CHS evaluation indicated that the Child Health State Certificate Program has been successful in reducing informal payments for pediatric inpatient care and in increasing accessibility of pediatric inpatient care for those who could not previously afford these services; however, it also found consistent dissatisfaction among hospital pediatricians with certain aspects of the Program.
Dr. Karine Saribekyan, Head of the Maternal and Child Health Department of MOH, informed meeting participants that the MOH has recently introduced new regulations to address some of the shortcomings of the Program identified by the CHS evaluation. Dr. Hayk Darbinyan, First Deputy Minister of Health, thanked the CHS researchers for the comprehensive study and USAID for the financial support.
Question/answer session followed the CHS Presentation, during which MOH Department Heads clarified a few details about the CHS Evaluations. This meeting concluded one of the MOH-USAID-AUA CHS active and productive collaborations.