Asset 3


End of content No more pages to load

Your search did not match any articles

Tatev Khachatryan

Etchmiadzin Maternity Hospital, Despite Free Service,Cannot Compete with Nearby Yerevan Private Clinics

40% of pregnant women in the town of Etchmiadzin and surrounding villages prefer to forgo free maternity services in favor of going to Yerevan and paying for treatment.

The main reasons are the poor conditions at the Etchmiadzin Maternity Hospital. The facility hasn’t been renovated, apart from some cosmetic repairs, since being constructed in 1967.

If it wasn’t for recent equipment donations by VivaCell MTS and the BirthLink NGO, the maternity hospital wouldn’t have an up to date medical equipment to speak of.


Entrance to Etchmiadzin Maternity Hospital

The Etchmiadzin facility falls under the jurisdiction of the Armavir Provincial Government. The facility receives 107,000 AMD for each delivery. (In Yerevan, that amount was 100,000 AMD until August 1, 2012 and 90,000 in other towns).

According to director Ashot Samsonyan, most of the money goes to paying utilities, wages and hospital taxes.

“In January we had 38 births and received some 5 million AMD. Our wages and income taxes amounted to 6.5 million. In 2014 the number of deliveries decreased to 120 from 748 in 2013. This drop should continue in 2015,” said Samsonyan.

Parallel to the drop in deliveries, utility bills have increased. The hospital is 19 million in debt.

Dangerous electrical system

The director says that on average 500 pregnant women from the Etchmiadzin area make the forty minute trip to Yerevan to deliver their babies every year. That amounts to a loss of some 53.5 million for the hospital.

“I believe the reason is the condition of the hospital and our Armenian penchant to show off. Many people might not have such a bathroom in their house or live in such a room,” said Samsonyan.


Most of the women who go to the Etchmiadzin Maternity Hospital are from the surrounding villages.

Another reason cited by Samsonyan for the drop in deliveries are the local consultative doctors who advise their patients to travel to Yerevan.

 The hospital lacks central heating. In the winter, electric heaters work overtime to keep the rooms warm. No wonder utility bills are high.

Water supply to the hospital isn’t a constant. It’s turned on three times daily and water is kept in tanks for later use.

The Armavir Provincial Government has promised to renovate a number of rooms at the hospital so tie in the future. We don’t know when.

Some of the rooms have been touched up and the bathroom in the newborn unit has been repaired.

Newborn bathroom; after and before

Nevertheless, Director Samsonyan believes the hospital has decent conditions for child delivery.

Regarding infant deaths at the hospital, Samsonyan says the facility numbers are good.

“We haven’t one stillborn death at the hospital. The last case when a delivering mother died was in 1979.”

We must point out that according to Ministry of Health figures 24 children between the ages of 0 and one died at the Etchmiadzin Maternity Hospital between 2009 and 2014.

Women who cannot afford to give birth in Yerevan, a short cab ride away, must make do at the Etchmiadzin facility and its equipment left over from the Soviet era.

Write a comment

If you found a typo you can notify us by selecting the text area and pressing CTRL+Enter