Welfare Expenditure to Be Increased

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The government is planning to increase welfare expenditure in the 1999 State Budget–President Robert Kocharian told journalists from the CIS and the Baltic States on Tuesday.

The president stressed that an insurance system should be developed which would provide for both the government’s and insurance funds’ participation. He said that a social insurance agency should be established.

The president pointed out that the reforms in the pension security system are the most difficult in the social sphere: "It is easier to start all over again than to reform the pension security system." Kocharian said that it took Chile only 17 years to reform the pension security system–which is a great success in such a short period of time. Success in the spheres of public health and education can be achieved even quicker.

Commenting on the problem of reforms in the public health sector–Kocharian pointed out that the state will for long while lack means to finance hospitals–so the "to finance a patient–not a hospital" formula should be followed.

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