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Government Tries To Attract More Doctors To Provincial Hospitals


Armenia - The hospital in the village of Aragats.

The Armenian government approved on Thursday scholarships for medical students who will agree to work in understaffed public hospitals outside Yerevan after graduation.

Such students will be able to continue their studies in medical colleges free of charge. The government will finance 123 places for them in the upcoming academic year.

“Under agreements to be signed with us, they will pledge to work for five years in [regional] hospitals chosen by us so that those vacancies are filled,” Health Minister Arsen Torosian said during a cabinet meeting in Yerevan.

In Torosian’s words, hospitals in small towns across the country need a total of 300 doctors at present. They are far less attractive to doctors and university graduates than medical institutions in Yerevan.

Provincial hospitals have been suffering from not only staff shortages but also a lack of modern facilities. This explains why many people living outside Yerevan prefer to undergo treatment in the capital.

Zina Avdalian, a resident of a village in the central Aragatsotn province, said she was transferred to the Armenia Medical Center in Yerevan recently after spending two months in a local hospital where her health condition deteriorated. Another Aragatsotn villager, Anahit Suchian, told RFE/RL’s Armenian service that she regularly receives treatment at the sprawling center for the same reason.

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