Turkmen residents are forced to contribute to the budget of Healthcare Ministry

It appears that, due to considerable cuts in the state budget, the budgets of Turkmen ministries and agencies are also being reduced. In this connection, a decision has been made to replenish the budgets of the Ministry of Healthcare and the Medical Industry by funds provided by government officials and public sector employees.

In early December the executives of Ashgabatteplo group sent their staff to undergo medical check-ups. The same situation is being observed in other Ashgabat organizations, including healthcare practitioners themselves.

A fee of 60 manats (equivalent of $17 at the exchange rate of Central Bank) applies if a person holds medical insurance and 120 manats for those without medical insurance. In provinces, however, a fee of 140 manats is charged regardless of the medical insurance.

Interestingly enough, school teachers who had already completed medical examinations in August, are being sent to undergo a further check-ups, including X-ray fluorography despite the fact that this procedure is not recommended more than once a year.

The executives inform those who refuse to be medically examined that this is a matter of state significance and that they might subsequently face problems with the special services.

There is another way of extorting money to replenish the budgets of ministries: all healthcare workers, including doctors, nurses and auxiliary staff are obliged to attend 10�day full-time courses which require leaving their workplace. The tuition fee is 260 manats. The training courses are organized in various agencies subordinate to the Ministry of Healthcare. For instance, auxiliary staff are trained in the offices of the Public Health Service.

An exam has to be taken after the training course. Those who fail the test will be obliged to attend a similar in-service course once again, as well as pay the 260 manats fee once again.

Source: Chronicles of Turkmenistan