2019 January 23
Anti-Corruption Jan/23/2019: /// Universal Healthcare in Armenia /// More misinformation around bonus payments, by pro-Kocharyan media /// PM's office saves 1 billion on 2018 /// Former PM and governor questioned by investigators /// Deceptive ads under investigation /// Davos /// More...
All the accused are innocent until proven guilty by the court of law. Currency in Armenian Drams unless specified otherwise.
The Lapterik preschool director, who stole food from kids and used it in her restaurant, has returned 20mln to the state and admitted the guilt. The prosecutors released her and demanded to stay in the country while the investigation continues.
About the 2006-2007 land theft.
State Commission for the Protection of Economic Competition has launched an investigation against Mobile Center smartphone sales company, after receiving complaints from consumers about misleading advertising.
The company is advertising a buy 1 get 1 free deal in which it makes it appear as if the second free phone is of the same model, but when the consumers arrive at the store, they find out the complementary phone is an old dumb-phone.
Universal healthcare to be implemented in Armenia by 2021. No private insurance companies will participate. The whole system will be managed by the government in order to cut the costs associated with private companies pursuing profit, says Health Minister Torosyan.
The hospitals will charge the government at standard market rates, and not below, in order to make hospital's participation sustainable and reduce instances of corruption in which the hospital demands additional payments from the patient.
But before 2021, the government will subsidy brain stroke (severe or mild) surgery for all patients, regardless of income levels, says Health Minister Torosyan. The program may launch as early as this February 1st and immediately affect 250 patients whose life is at risk.
Provincial medics are receiving an additional training to properly diagnose the stroke and take action on time.
Earlier, the heart surgery was made free through a similar plan.
The government will also fully subsidy malignant diseases (such as cancer) surgery cost for patients.
This is possible because the Health Ministry received an additional 700mln funding on top of the 1.1bln that's being spent.
Before the 2021 universal healthcare, the health ministry is working on a staged rollout.
At first, only citizens who work and pay taxes, or are already covered by subsidies, will qualify for universal care.
The next stage will include retired seniors.
At these initial stages, 50% of the population will be covered by the univeral healthcare.
Health Ministry workers will receive universal healthcare too, in this stage. The Government is deciding what percentage of salary to deduct from the paycheck. In other countries it's between 2-30%. Minister says they'll start from a small number.
Health Ministry will also subsidy a new type of cancer treatment that would normally cost 1mln for one course.
Linear Accelerator Radiotherapy, a new practice in Armenia, will be used to target cancer cells with reduced damage to nearby tissue. Until now, only gamma radiation treatment was used.
Healthcare Ministry will provide 210 million to treat couples who have fertility problems, including for procedures such as "external fertilization" (արտամարմնային բեղմնավորման).
Part of the fund will go towards searching the causes of infertility, which will help to prevent future cases.
Yerevan will have a new fleet of smaller emergency ambulances which will respond specifically to those cases (which are 70% of all cases) in which the illness is already known by the patient due to its chronic nature.
This will allow the government to save resources by not sending "the full crew", but only medics who can provide the necessary care on the spot. This practice is used in Austria.
Emergency calls will be free for patients. The government pays 7k for each call.
In reality, the funds which were presented by the outlet, included the salaries for the past 2 months, any overtime payments, and the standard year-end bonuses which were significantly smaller than the numbers presented by the outlet.
PM Pashinyan spoke about bonus payments to government workers.
Says the funds were used mostly from part of the budget that is explicitly dedicated for this purpose, and people have always been paid in this fashion regularly.
Says the salaries are too low and the government has a problem with attracting smart workforce, who often choose to work in private sector for higher wages.
Says even Parliament MPs (like himself in past) received these bonuses, so he doesn't understand why some MPs don't want provincial or municipal workers to receive the bonuses. The law governs on how big the bonuses can be.
PM's office finished the 2018 with spending 13% less than the budget dedicated to its office. The savings equal to over 1 billion.
Earlier, we learned that Yerevan mayor's office issued 474mln in bonus salaries to over 1600 workers, while finishing the year with 7 billion in savings.
2018's municipal 474mln bonus package was negotiated on 2017, under the previous administration. The bonuses may increase or decrease for this year.
During today's Davos meeting, Nikol Pashinyan met with several other business representatives.
Marriott International hotel chain has agreed to discuss expansion of its business in Armenia.
Russian Direct Investments company will continue to expand its investments in Armenia's agriculture and other fields, and invite its business partners to join them in Armenia.
Corporation America company representative spoke about the upcoming investments in Zvartnots and Gyumri airports, HayPost investments, and a construction job for Foreign Ministry.
PM met with Global Energy Siemens, and VTB bank representatives
Kotayk governor has negotiated with 3 Chinese companies to create an elevator construction business (currently choosing factory location) and improve the public transportation.
Up to 3,000 elevators will be produced annually, for external and internal consumption. Several millions of dollars to be invested.
GeoProMining Gold Russian owned mining company will hire 50 more specialists in Gegharquniq province, increase the mining capacity, and continue assisting the local population with socio-economic issues.
The company is the 4th largest taxpayer in Armenia.
This graph shows the Russian gas price cost in $ since 2004. Blue - border price paid by a Russian subsidiary GazProm-Armenia; Red - paid by citizens.
40 European and International organizations have written an open letter to Pashinyan asking him to take sides with the local residents and environmentalists in the dispute against Amulsar's mining company
Two prominent H1 journalists Susan Badalyan and Lianna Karapetyan (you might have heard their names after each media report on H1) will be fired by H1's new media chief Petros Ghazaryan (Kentron TV's former anchor and BHK candidate).
Karapetyan says there is no valid reason for the termination, and that Petros Ghazaryan told them "I'm replacing the old staff with a new ones".
Other significant changes were made to the programming.
US Congressional Armenian Caucus has 3 new members, including the newly elected Armenian-American Anthony Brindisi of New York.
Artsakh Republic presidential spokesman Babayan says the ceasefire violations by Azerbaijan have sharply dropped, which is welcomed, but Azerbaijan continues its hateful and anti-Armenian rhetoric, and can restore the military actions at any time.
Edit: Gas price graph credit: ArmTimes.
Link to original report: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/aj4nxj/anticorruption_jan232019_universal_healthcare_in/
|2018 Daily Armenia Reports|
|2019 Daily Armenia Reports|