Yerevan’s Polyclinics: Take Advantage of the Free Healthcare but Stay Away From the Toilets
There are 22 polyclinics in Yerevan where people receive state-sponsored healthcare for free or at reduced rates. Hetq visited all the polyclinics in the city to examine the sanitary conditions of the state institutions offering medical assistance to people.
Photographs were taken so that the sanitary conditions of the polyclinics could be reviewed. On the map below you can click the points on the map to learn more about the conditions of every individual healthcare facility.
Yerevan’s polyclinics fall under the supervision of both the Yerevan Municipality and the Ministry of Health. The Municipality is responsible for the overall maintenance of medical buildings, the quality of medical equipment and staff management. The sanitary conditions of the polyclinics are controled by the Ministry of Health’s State Health Inspectorate.
The photos clearly show that almost none of Yerevan’s polyclinics maintain the standards defined in the government’s 2013 decision to establish a prevention board setting the sanitation standards for public restrooms. Why doesn’t the Ministry of Health State Health Inspection Board record the sanitation violations of restrooms made by the polyclinics?
Hetq inquired as to whether violations of sanitation requirements were recorded in the polyclinics in 2013-2014 and whether there were polyclinics that were penalized. As stated by the Ministry of Health, “According to hygienic and epidemic control practices with the Republic of Armenia, polyclinics are answerable to the Republic of Armenia Ministry of Health’s State Health Inspectorate.”
In 2013, Polyclinic #8 LLC underwent a thorough inspection, the results of which determined that violations in the rules of proper sanitation condition maintenance were committed. The director of the polyclinic was officially penalized.
In fact, within the last two years only one infraction was cited for the same situation found in nearly all the polyclinics.
From the 2013 tax-payer funded budget, 3.67 billion dram was appropriated to public health services, including hygienic and epidemic control services.
For 2015-2017, the ministry has forecasted a fixed budget dedicated to conducting sanitary and anti-epidemic measures as well as poison and disease control.
What is the point of appropriating state funds for sanitary measures when there is no disclosure by the Ministry of Health and violations of practices are not noted for all institutions?
The Municipality’s Duty
The Yerevan Municipality supervises building renovations, furnishing upgrades and quality of service in polyclinics that are run by medical aid companies. In 2014, 165 million dram (US$346,270) was allocated for healthcare from the city’s budget to realize various programs: 100 million dram ($210K) went to “medical equipment purchases for health establishments,” 50 million dram ($105K) went to the “reconstruction of healthcare facilities” and 15 million dram($31.5K) went to “computer tomography for the population.”
Hetq asked the Yerevan Municipality to reveal how much money was allocated in 2014 for building renovations and acquiring equipment for each polyclinic. Polyclinic 15 LLC and Sari Tagh Polyclinic LLC received new heating systems, while Karmir Blur Polyclinic LLC had new windows installed, all of which amounted to 41,052,480 dram.
As part of the “medical equipment purchases for health establishments” program, the Yerevan Municipality acquired 14 pieces of medical equipment(2 X-ray machines, 5 ultrasound machines with echocardiogram transducers, 1 Doppler echocardiogram machine, 2 stereo microscopes and 4 immune-ferment analyzers). The total cost was 75,886,400 dram. As a result, 24,114,000 dram was left over. . (The 100 million allocated minus the 75,886,400 expended).
For the “computed tomography for the population” program, the municipality acquired a CT scanner at 14,500,000 dram, which was used by 209 residents through December 10, 2014.
466,535 people visited Yerevan’s polyclinics between September and December of 2014. They all had the opportunity to free receive medical aid provided with the new equipment.
But they had to avoid entering the restrooms. Medical institutions providing such restroom facilities to their patients are not only incapable preventing the spread communicable diseases but may also be actively spreading them.On December 3, 2014 Mayor of Yerevan Taron Margaryan and Minister of Health Armen Muradyan paid a visit to the above-mentioned renovated polyclinics to inspect the conditions of the buildings and have their photos taken for publication on their official web sites. But they forgot to enter the restrooms.