Medical Worker’s Day in Azerbaijan Date in the current year: June 17, 2024

Medical Worker’s Day in Azerbaijan Medical Worker’s Day in Azerbaijan is celebrated annually on June 17. The President of Azerbaijan officially established this professional holiday in 2001.

The history of the healthcare system of Azerbaijan dates back to 1918, when the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic was formed after the collapse of first the Russian Empire and then the Transcaucasian Democratic Federal Republic. On June 17, 1918, the Council of Ministers of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic officially established the Ministry of Healthcare.

Azerbaijan’s first Minister of Healthcare and Social Security was Khudadat bey Rafibeyli, who is recognized as one of the first professional surgeons in the country. Four years prior to his assignment, he established the first medical society in Azerbaijan to provide the population with free healthcare.

Rafibeyli served as the Minister of Healthcare for a little more than half a year. His successors were Yevsey Gindes (served from December 1918 to March 1919), Abram Dastakyan (served from March to December 1919), and Musa bey Rafiyev (served from December 1919 to April 1920). In the spring of 1920, the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic fell to the Soviet troops, and its Ministry of Health was transformed into the People’s Commissariat of Healthcare of Azerbaijan.

During the short existence of the Ministry of Healthcare of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, over 30 hospitals were opened in Azerbaijani provinces to provide free medical care to the population. Each hospital employed a primary care physician, a gynecologist, a nurse, and two paramedics. Despite all the efforts, the hospitals were extremely short-staffed; there was only one doctor per 75,000 citizens. The Azerbaijani government planned to build 35 new hospitals and 56 outpatient clinics in 1920, but these plans did not come to fruition due to the Red Army’s invasion of Azerbaijan.

Today, there are about 750 hospitals and 1,670 outpatient clinics in Azerbaijan, employing more than 28 thousand doctors and almost 56 thousand nurses, paramedics, obstetricians, lab technicians, and other medical workers. The country’s leading medical school is the Nariman Narimanov Azerbaijan Medical University in Baku.

During the Soviet era, Azerbaijani medical workers celebrated their professional holiday on the same day as their colleagues throughout the Soviet Union, the third Sunday in June. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, some former Soviet republics decided not to change the date of the holiday. At first, Azerbaijan was one of them, but in 2001, President Heydar Aliyev signed a decree on the new date of Medical Worker’s Day, June 17, to honor the founding anniversary of the first Ministry of Healthcare of Azerbaijan.

Medical Worker’s Day is observed in medical institutions throughout Azerbaijan. It is marked by concerts, award ceremonies, and other festive events honoring the country’s medical workers. Unfortunately, not all medical workers can attend the festivities because they are needed at work, so the best gift for them would be sincere words of gratitude from patients and their families.

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Medical Worker’s Day in Azerbaijan, holidays in Azerbaijan, professional holidays, healthcare in Azerbaijan