Azerbaijan’s recently implemented Social Health Insurance Reform might present a special interest to policy-makers because its model is unique and different from all other Post-Soviet countries’ health financing and governance model.
Azerbaijan’s Agency for Mandatory Social Health Insurance organizationally is the sole shareholder of the Management Union of Medical Territorial Units of Azerbaijan (for short named “TƏBİB” in the native language).
TƏBİB was established by the State Agency of Mandatory Health Insurance in accordance with the Decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan dated December 20, 2018 No. 418 about introduction of mandatory health insurance in Azerbaijan. In order to implement the Decree, on April 12, the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Azerbaijan made a decision to approve the list of healthcare organizations that will fall under the jurisdiction of TƏBİB. The decision came into force on January 1, 2020.
The main responsibility of TƏBİB is to manage and control medical organizations in light of implementing mandatory health insurance scheme. In other words, this union of health care providers is created to align the activities of health care organizations in accordance with the requirements of the mandatory health insurance system, including quality improvement of health care services paid for under the national health insurance.
TƏBIB’s operations are funded by state budget, revenues from services provided, and, if any, donations, grants and other sources.
To get a sense of the scope and power of this “Management Union”, it is enough to mention that this union manages all seven national tertiary care institutes; 17 comprehensive medical centers (outpatient); 14 ambulance services; a dozen private hospitals and clinics; and all public hospitals and primary health care organizations (polyclinics) which belong to local governments (regions of Azerbaijan; such as, for example, 138 health care organization from the capital city Baku only).
Therefore, news that Vugar Gurbanov was appointed to the position of the Acting Head of TABIB – the Management Union of Medical Territorial Units of Azerbaijan, means that this leadership position is of immense power as it affects all healthcare providers, public and private, receiving funds from the national Insurance Agency. The appointment was made by Zaur Aliyev, who is the Chairman of the Board (CEO) of the State Agency on Mandatory Health Insurance (MHI) of Azerbaijan.
Before the last appointment, Gurbanov led a department within the MHI State Agency.
Previous Chairman of the Board of TABIB, Ramin Bayramli, has resigned.