Dr. Garbis Baydar – Pediatrics in Armenia

My visit to a 60-bed pediatric hospital in Yerevan made me feel both encouraged and incredulous.

The hospital provided general pediatric care, as well as intensive care. They also had a cancer unit, where I saw some patients with leukemia and Hodgkin`s lymphoma.

The head of the Neonatal and Pediatric ICU gave us a tour. He was relatively well informed. His monthly salary was $150. No, I did not forget to put another zero! $150!!! When you see brand new Mercedes and BMW`s in Yerevan streets, you scratch your head. I am sure doctors there get paid under the table, otherwise, they can`t make a living!

I went to visit a COAF village outside the city in a rural area. They had a midsize polyclinic there which provides primary care. I examined some patients with coughs and rashes (minor issues).

In summary, I found the doctors to be knowledgeable but lacking the medical technology we use in the USA. At the Congress, we learned that in the entire country there is no MRI machine. And they don`t have the type of medications we have in this country. For instance there is no-new generation insulin for pediatric diabetes patients, which can prevent serious future complications. The insulin they are using keeps them barely alive. Very concerning.

Garbis Baydar, MD
AAHPO 2011 Medical Mission to Armenia Participant

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