Healthcare sector in Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan is among 35 countries around the world implementing regulatory reforms in 2015/2016 in three or more of the 10 areas measured by the report, making it easier to do business. The country has progressed on three indicators, namely, Getting Electricity, Trading Across Borders and Paying Taxes. Azerbaijan is ranked 65 among 190 economies in the Doing Business 2017 report.
At the same time, Azerbaijan was among the ten countries with the best conditions to start a business. Azerbaijan took the seventh place with 97.75 points, whereas last year it took the 11th place. Rating of Azerbaijan was formed of the following indicators:
The full report and accompanying datasets are available at www.doingbusiness.org
Government Regulation of Healthcare Industry
Medicine in Azerbaijan serves for protecting health and prosperity of citizens of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Reforms in the sphere of medical care and direction of health care system are parts of a global strategic development program of economic and social infrastructure. This program is based on principles of establishment of high life democratic society with market economy. More than 10 laws were established in the sphere of health-care. Unique state policy was established in the country and quality of medical service of the population was also improved. Today medical centers and modern pharmaceutics industry of Azerbaijan is created at a level of world standards.
There has been allocated funds at amount of 711.1 mln. USD or 4.6 percent of expenditures to healthcare costs in the state budget for 2016, which is 0.9 percent-item more in comparison with 2015.
Out of the funds considered, 336.6 mln. USD or 47.4 percent will be allocated to costs related to maintenance of hospitals, 103.3 mln. USD or 14.5 percent to costs related to maintenance of outpatient clinics and ambulatories, 6.5 mln. USD or 0.9 percent to costs related to other services in the field of public health and 264.5 mln. USD or 37.2 percent to costs related to applied research in the field of public health and other services related to public health
During 2008-2015 the national strategy on reproductive health was being carried out in Azerbaijan. More than 60 medical institutions have been built. Over 500 scientific research institutions and hospitals have been reconstructed and refurbished for the ten years. According to official statistics, at the moment of there are 28489 doctors and 56842 medium medical staff. 750 hospitals, 1670 policnics function in the country. The number of patient beds is 70 thousands.
As part of the ‘Azerbaijan 2020: A Look into the Future’ development strategy, the material and technical foundation of the healthcare system is expected to strengthen, new medical institutions will be built and existing ones will be repaired, and healthcare reforms have been planned.
Significantly, healthcare infrastructure in Azerbaijan is concentrated in its capital, Baku. The rest of the country is lacking sufficient number of beds for residents, offering a good area for investment with considerable future growth. Building the latest treatment facilities, specializing for instance in cancer, eye and heart-related treatment, for Azerbaijani citizens in their own country will reduce the treatment opportunities lost to medical tourism. Right now, the majority of citizens who can afford better treatment, travel to neighboring countries such as Iran and Turkey, which they feel have better quality of care. For instance, in 2012, 4106 Azerbaijani citizens received treatment in Turkey, and the same year approximately 1600 Azerbaijanis crossed the border to Iran daily for medical procedures. The biggest issue for Azerbaijan's healthcare industry is the lack of human capital – not enough doctors and nurses with up-to-date expertise. However, the government is now promoting programs that encourage the youth to enter medical careers and sponsoring their education abroad.
Medical device market
As there is no domestic production, Azerbaijan is also a great market for medical device investments. Ultrasound scanners, electrocardiographs, X-ray equipment, laboratory analyzers, electronic surgery devices, endoscopes, gynecologic instruments and appliances, catheters, drains, and other expendable materials are in high demand. Currently, they are being imported from US, Germany, Japan, France, Russia, Turkey etc.
Out of the 62 per cent OOP paid by Azerbaijani patients, more than 70 per cent is spent on pharmaceuticals, 60 per cent of which are imported. Turkey, Iran, India, Ukraine and Russia supply low-cost products, whereas medicines from US, France, Germany and other EU regions are much more expensive ones.
Azerbaijan Pharmaceutical Market Overview: