+374 (11) 59-21-00


Harutyun Mangoyan. Health care system of armenia needs rules, which should be observed and used for development
June 22, 2023
Harutyun Mangoyan. Health care system of armenia needs rules,  which should be observed and used for development

ArmInfo: Several dozens of medical centers of Armenia, which seem to be in step with the time, direct their resources to modernization, technological re-equipment and personnel training. In addition, the state, on its part, implements projects of reconstruction of medical centers in all regions of the country and builds new ones. Today, it is difficult to surprise patients by expensive diagnostic equipment. And the word "innovation" sounds ordinary in our times, including in medicine. But, as a rule, society perceives this innovation exclusively in the context of usage of technological solutions, availability of state-of-the-art equipment, etc.

However, according to Harutyun Mangoyan, General Director of "Vardanants" Center for Innovative Medicine, the concept "innovation" has a wider meaning. In his interview with ArmInfo correspondent, Dr. Mangoyan talks about directions for the development of "Vardanants", its innovation without quotation marks, presents his opinion on introduction of comprehensive health insurance in the country in the near future and his vision of future path to development of health care system of Armenia.

– Dr. Mangoyan, to be honest, it was difficult to prepare for the interview with you. There is very little information on "Vardanants" medical center in the information field, including in media publications. Is there no time, interest in communicating with the media, or matters simply did not come to that?

– I understand your question, both as a driving force for action and, at the same time, as an assessment of the entire path we travelled. Sure enough, first of all, we place importance on gaining the trust of people and patients by our work, quality treatment and timely service. By all these means we strive for having own niche, as they say, own place in the sun. After all, market of medical services is a very competitive market in our country. And giving publicity to the activity and presenting it to the public was secondary for us. But everything is changing. We stay in step with the times. And now the medical center is more open, more ready to show itself and talk about itself, for every patient, including a potential one, to know whom he trusts and why the choice of "Vardanants" is not accidental.

– In other words, it can be said that the medical center has succeeded, since today you kindly agreed to the interview?

– We have been always able to allow communication. And we did not turn down with many interviews and projects, we rather filtered them, since we already knew own place and were selective in our public speech. And we have succeeded for already a long time and now we are developing further projects and it is important to us to communicate all this as comprehensible as possible to our main beneficiary, the patient.

– The center was established in 2008. Can you tell how you started and what "Vardanants" Center for Innovative Medicine is today?

– It is interesting that our concept has not been changed since establishment of the center. It was based on the notion that we wanted to create medicine that could serve our patients, our relatives and family members. The way we wanted to treat our closest people, exactly the same model we wanted to apply for everyone, for every visitor who enters "Vardanants"

We started with three offices – those of general practitioner and pediatrician and a small room where the sonographer sat. The rest of our services were outsourced. These were those few units we tried to start these great deeds with. But since the concept at its core, as time has shown, was correct, it all developed at a very dynamic pace.

Today, the center is a large outpatient medical facility, where all medical specialties are presented. The basis is therapy or family medicine. Today we have 18 general practitioners, whose work is of great value.

– How many doctors do you have in general?

– Currently, "Vardanants" employs more than 140 doctors, 60% of whom are the main staff. Others are mostly surgical consultants who give consultation and prescribe treatment.

However, in addition to all these doctors, who constitute the main potential of our center, we also have auxiliary services. First of all, it is, of course, our reception, which we are really proud of. It is the first thing a visitor sees when walks in, and it is very important to us to make a good first impression. And how to create it? When the patient enters, it is important to greet him and smile. Afterwards, naturally, a more complicated process begins. But you can give a smile, can’t you? It is necessary to give proper attention, show proper attitude to the patient, so that he immediately understands where to go, what to do, etc. In other words, to charge the visitor with that first dose of positive energy, which is much needed during any visit to the doctor.

– And what, in your opinion, is the main difference between "Vardanants" medical center and other medical facilities in Armenia, what is your competitive advantage?

– Besides the coordinated interaction of all units, the main difference is that we work according to international protocols. Actually, not every medical center can make such a statement today. During the last 5 years we have methodically searched for, filtered and translated the best international protocols for treatment of all diseases, beginning with flu and ending with very rare diseases. We digitize them and enter into our electronic program.

– Was the process of transition to international protocols difficult in the context of staff work?

– It was difficult to overcome the stereotype that international models would be impossible to implement here in Armenia. It turned out that there were no specific difficulties, they were only at the level of psychological perception.

It should be understood that the best protocols do not assume large resources. On the contrary, they save the resources of the medical center and patients, avoid the overspending for unnecessary examinations, laboratory tests, they lead the patient and the doctor, taking by the hand, the shortest way to diagnosis, and from diagnosis to treatment.

Our experience has been already presented in the book titled "Vardanants heals", which was published last year. We provided it free of charge to all family doctors, primary care practitioners. The book includes the international protocols we managed to translate and formulate until that time. It should be noted that they cover 50-60% of all outpatient practice. In every second case, the doctor, not having the opportunity to consult colleagues, can see how to treat, for example, gout or arterial hypertension, etc. By this book, the entire "Vardanants" and therefore the entire civilized medical world will be at the side of that doctor.

– Did you participate in preparation of the materials for the book?

– I led the process of compiling the book, and 12 doctors of "Vardanants" were involved in that group. This is actually the net product of our center and a unique one. But we do not intend to limit ourselves to that. Work continues. The published book contains international protocols for 137 diagnoses. Now we work toward including 1500-1600 diagnoses after 3 years, so that doctors can get answers to all questions. But it will be most likely in the form of an online resource.

– Dr. Mangoyan, the full name of the medical center is "Vardanants" Center for Innovative Medicine. What is the innovation of "Vardanants" in your opinion?

– Any tool, any equipment is available also at other large medical centers. In that sense, you cannot be innovative. You cannot be innovative, even in the context of having 140 doctors, although that is quite a large number. You cannot be innovative, even because of being located in downtown, which is very convenient. For us, innovation starts right from the service stage, from the first smile, electronic queue management, the first medical call center in the country, availability of treatment protocols. This is where the innovation starts from.

Innovation starts at the stage when, after the first contact, it is clear to you what to do next. Our innovation is to follow the international protocol, which is not practiced anywhere yet. I can say it with conviction. And it seems unbelievable that anyone will be interested in it anytime soon. That is where the innovation is.

See and serve patients politely, with a sense of responsibility, provide clear information on the next steps for the patient to be sure that he receives such treatment as he would receive, for example, in any of the clinics in Germany.

Thank God, all preparations are available, instrumental examinations, which are carried out there, are also available here. In other words, the problem is in our brains, not in resources.

The main refrain of my text is that all these tools and equipment are useful only in the hands of an experienced, competent doctor. They are, in themselves, simply pieces of iron.

Full interview is here.