A WHO delegation visited Armenia to support its Ministry of Health with ongoing changes and reforms to the health system, focusing on primary health care, mental health and quality of care. The team and WHO Representative to Armenia Dr Jihane Tawilah visited the Surb Grigor Lusavorich (SGL) Medical Centre in Yerevan for a better understanding of the Armenian health care system, primary health care and hospital services. It also visited the paediatric psychiatric referral centre and the nursing college attached to the Medical Centre.
Dr Natasha Azzopardi-Muscat, Director of Country Health Policies and Systems for WHO/Europe, welcomed the ongoing health system reform and stressed the importance of digitizing health systems, noting that digital tools have the potential to dramatically enhance primary care performance and reach people in need.
“I am happy to see first-hand the changes and reforms currently taking place in Armenia’s health care system,” she said. “It was truly inspiring to meet and speak with the health care professionals themselves, to understand their needs and to witness their passion and commitment, which help ensure good quality care for patients in their communities. We hope that this can be built on elsewhere in the country, making sure that everyone, everywhere, can get the care they need.”
Primary health care is people’s first point of entry into the health system and the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the crucial role it plays. While responding to the surge in demand due to the health crisis, primary care centres and staff were able to maintain essential health services. WHO/Europe encourages all countries to ensure that this model also continues beyond the pandemic.