Policy responses for Armenia - HSRM


Policy responses for Armenia

2.2 Workforce

Since the outbreak started, over 5,680 medical personnel have participated in training to improve their skills in treating COVID-19 patients. Another 2,270 doctors have participated in more specialized international and local webinars. As of 6 July, 46 nurses, epidemiologists, anesthesiologists and ICU specialists have arrived in Armenia from abroad to assist in the fight against COVID-19 (one team from Germany, 18 from France, 5 from the Russian Federation, 11 from Lithuania and another 11 medics from Italy).

Individual roles and responsibilities are clearly delineated in hospital operational plans for all designated hospitals. Bonus payments for 1800 health workers in Yerevan hospitals have been made for March. 

The Ministry of Health has announced the need to involve additional workforce from other health specialities and students. The government put out a call for volunteers with medical education to help and among those who applied there are also nursing and medical students (mostly in the final year of their studies). These extra health workers will be retrained and repurposed for COVID-19. In all repurposed health facilities the workforce is trained on IPC. The Avdalbekyan National Institute of Health conducts trainings for health providers throughout the country to recognize and treat COVID-19 patients. The courses cover 6 different themes. To participate in the courses the health care workers just need to submit a form.

On 1 June, the PM informed that currently the healthcare system has a shortage of anesthesiologists and ICU doctors. The Ministry has been able to supply other staffing requirements through a large number of volunteers and clinical specialists. The government is now focussing on filling gaps in these specific specialties.

On 7 June it was announced that due to the high number of calls to the hotlines, the number of doctors who work 24/7 on the hotlines and provide medical consultations has been doubled.

A WHO certified emergency medical team (EMT) from the UK arrived on 23 November to provide support in 2 dedicated COVID-19 hospitals - Surb Grigor Lusavorich and Nork. Starting 9 December the EMT also started to provide hands on training through simulations to the ambulance doctors and nurses at the central ambulance station in Yerevan.