Aghsu, April 29, AZERTAC
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has attended the opening of a new building of Aghsu District Central Hospital.
President Ilham Aliyev cut the ribbon symbolizing the opening of the building.
Minister of Health Ogtay Shiraliyev informed the head of state that the construction of the 160-bed hospital started in 2012 and was completed late in 2015. The hospital occupies a total area of three hectares. The hospital consists of the main building, a 15-bed tuberculosis prophylaxis center and an infectious diseases block. There are surgery, pediatrics, anesthesiology and intensive care departments in the hospital, which is supplied with modern medical equipment.
President Ilham Aliyev met with local residents.
Greeting the ceremony participants, President Ilham Aliyev said:
- It is a remarkable day in Aghsu District today. We are gathered for the opening of Aghsu District Central Hospital. The hospital designed for 160 patients meets the highest world standards. The building is beautiful and imparts special beauty to Aghsu city. There are spacious public areas. This room is a great architectural solution. The hospital operates the most sophisticated equipment produced by leading companies of the world. There are 12 departments here. All the main departments are available: pediatrics, internal medicine, surgery, intensive care, hemodialysis, maternity and other units. In other words, the hospital has all the conditions.
The construction area of the hospital covers 24,000 square meters. It is one of the biggest hospitals built in Azerbaijan in recent years. I should also note that the population of Aghu District is about 80,000 people. Today, we are commissioning the hospital covering an area of 24,000 square meters. I am confident that the doctors working here will provide a high level of service, treat people with care, and there will be no need to go to other places for treatment. I was informed that there are about 20 patients in Aghsu needing dialysis, and they regularly traveled to Shamakhi for treatment. That will no longer be necessary. All treatment will be available here.
The instruction on the construction of this hospital was signed a few years ago. But when I was here last year, I saw that work in the building was not moving ahead and that it was unfinished. I inquired and was told that the money had been spent and there were no further funds in the budget. I immediately signed the instruction to allocate additional funds from the Contingency Fund of the President. An additional 10 million manats was allocated, so that the hospital did not remain unfinished, was built quickly and put into operation. Six months on, I am here to celebrate the opening of the hospital together with you.
This is really a wonderful event, indicating that social issues are successfully resolved in Azerbaijan. Healthcare, of course, is in the foreground of all social issues. In recent years, we have built or refurbished more than 500 hospitals and healthcare facilities in Azerbaijan. There are all the possibilities to provide people with excellent service. For several years now, medical examination of people has been carried out on my instructions. People undergo examinations at the proper level. This year, about 5 million people have been examined, and I am told that 91 per cent of them are in good health. Eight per cent have been provided with outpatient treatment. In Aghsu District, more than 50,000 people have undergone free checkups. Of course, this demonstrates the social policy of Azerbaijan again because public health is the most important issue. Good health, of course, requires timely examination, diagnosing and tests. If a particular disease is revealed, excellent medical care must be available. We approach these issues comprehensively, and we can say today that all the regions of Azerbaijan, the vast majority of our districts have hospitals meeting the most modern standards. Of course, in the next year or two there will be no district without a modern medical facility in Azerbaijan.
With regard to the solution of social issues, as you know, these issues are always in the spotlight of the Azerbaijani government. Despite the fact that the world is experiencing an economic and financial crisis, oil prices have dropped fourfold, wages and pensions in Azerbaijan have been increased by 10 per cent this year. To address social issues, we are implementing water projects which contribute to public health. Last year, for example, we celebrated the opening of a drinking water project in Aghsu District. The city population now has uninterrupted supply of drinking water that complies with World Health Organization standards. Several villages have already joined this network.
The clean environment and environmental measures are also very important for public health, and this is the case in Aghsu District. The wonderful nature and air in Aghsu, of course, create perfect conditions for public health.
Of course, social issues require extensive economic opportunities. Azerbaijan takes the lead in this direction. We are at the forefront in terms of economic growth on a global scale.
Year 2016 will be one of profound economic reform. Reforms are deepening and the business environment is improving. Since the beginning of the year, we have created more than 30,000 jobs. We are fighting unemployment, opening new enterprises, industrial sites and factories, including those in Aghsu District. In the future, the growing industrial capacity and agricultural development will, of course, create a new situation.
Very serious steps have been taken in connection with private enterprise development. Very serious is under way towards improving the business environment, developing the private sector, increasing export potential and reducing our dependence on imports. Our previously traditional industries are coming back to life again. As you know, I have signed orders related to the development of cotton production. Work has already begun and an area of over 1,000 hectares, including Aghsu District, will be sown with cotton this year. This process has already started. In Soviet times, thanks to the great work and effort of great leader Heydar Aliyev, Azerbaijan produced 800,000, 900,000 and even 1 million tons of cotton a year.
I have reviewed the statistics. Last year, we grew only 35,000 tons of cotton. This year, cotton will be sown on an area of 50,000 hectares. The sowing has begun, and we expect a harvest of at least 100,000 tons, or three times more than last year. In Soviet times, an area of 5,000 hectares was sown with cotton in Aghsu District. This year, over 1,000 hectares will be sown. I am sure that next year you will reach the level of Soviet times. This means local production and jobs. People will be earning good money and we will obtain exportable products.
Now, due to the decline in oil prices, our foreign exchange earnings have reduced, which is natural. If the oil price falls fourfold or, for example, as threefold, as is the case now – they have slightly risen – this means that revenues have also reduced three- to fourfold. We need to compensate for this income by exportable products. Among them, cotton is the best product as it is sold on world markets and there are no problems with its marketing. Therefore, cotton-growing should develop in Aghsu District. We should and we will rise to the level of Soviet times.
Similar instructions have been given in connection with sericulture, and work in this direction is also under way. We need to constantly work on creating jobs. Over the past 12 years, more than a million permanent jobs have been created in Azerbaijan – about 1.3 million jobs in total. But the population is also growing. As the population grows, so does the need for jobs. Therefore, this should be an ongoing process. Agriculture, the processing sector, creation of industrial enterprises and expansion of tourism opportunities – we approach all these issues comprehensively. Therefore, in the low oil price world, Azerbaijan demonstrates probably better results than all other oil-rich countries, because we are conducting a sound policy. The process of diversifying the economy and developing the non-oil sector is under way.
You are well aware that in order to facilitate socioeconomic development of Aghsu District, we have taken numerous measures and signed orders. I pay constant attention to the situation in the district. This is my fifth visit to Aghsu as President. Over the years, we have implemented many important projects. The level of gasification has reached almost 90 per cent. There are no problems with electricity. We have resolved the drinking water issue in Aghsu city. The construction of rural roads is under way. Several projects have been implemented. I will give additional instructions to allocate funds for the implementation of new rural roads projects. The Baku-Shamakhi road is being expanded. It will be a four-lane road. So movement will be more comfortable. The Goychay-Agdash road in another direction is also being renovated at the appropriate level. Therefore, all infrastructure projects have either already been completed or will be completed shortly.
The main task is to increase local production and develop agriculture. We need to include new acreage in the turnover. We need to organize irrigation at a higher level. We need to revive and restore traditional agricultural spheres. Thus, the well-being of our people will be further improved and our country will further reduce its dependence on oil.
I am sure that this day will certainly remain in history. Not only because such a beautiful facility has been created in Aghsu, but also because social issues and public health are at the forefront even in crisis years, at a time when we are faced with certain difficulties. We are creating such beautiful works of architecture for people to live well, in prosperity and receive good medical care. At the same time, this hospital, of course, is a place of work for doctors. You will enjoy excellent conditions because the state of the previous district hospital – you know this better than me – was not so encouraging. The new building has excellent conditions. And this should be the case because this medical facility serves our people.
My greetings to all of you again! I congratulate you on this wonderful event!
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Then a picture was taken.