Assistive Technology Capacity Assessment Survey Mongolia Report

Dr. Sunil Deepak, Global Disability Innovation Hub, World Health Organization, Tegsh Niigem
April 25, 2021
Mongolia

The Country Capacity Assessments (CCAs) are a joint initiative of the World Health Organization (WHO), Global Disability Innovation Hub (GDI Hub) and CHAI under the AT2030 programme and funded by UK aid. The AT2030 programme is led by GDI Hub.

Assistive Technology Capacity Assessment (ATA-C) National Survey was carried out in September-October 2019 by Dr. Sunil Deepak, consultant of Italian Association Amici di Raoul Follereau (AIFO), in collaboration with Tegsh Niigem (Mongolia), with technical support of the AT2030 team of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and with funding from Global Disability Innovation (GDI) Hub, UK. 

This survey was the first step in the effort to improve and strengthen the Assistive Technology (AT) services in the country, as part of the action following the resolution 71.8 of the World Health Assembly (WHA) in May 2018. WHO’s ATA-C survey has 4 questionnaires, these were translated and field-tested in Mongolia. In collaboration with Tegsh Niigem, a Mongolian NGO, the major stakeholders involved in policy, acquisition, procurement, production and distribution of assistive products in the country were interviewed and compiled the WHO questionnaires. All together 47 persons were interviewed. Some of the key findings from the report include:

  1. Ministry of Labour and Social Protection (MoLSP) is responsible for AT services in Mongolia. The present system of Assistive Products (APs) provision is in place since 2013.
  2. Role of health personnel is limited to confirmation of disability and prescription of APs based on the list of approved products.
  3. Mongolia has an approved list of APs (Nov. 2017, Resolution 316). At present, it includes 80 products including some medical equipment such as talking thermometers and blood pressure measuring instruments, as well as some general equipment such as radio receivers. For the last 2 years, there is an inter-ministerial group charged with review and rationalization of this list, which has not been able to come to any conclusion. The list of APs approved by MoLSP includes a recommended price for each product. Persons can buy products which cost more but MoLSP will cover only the recommended price.
  4. MoLSP selects the companies which can provide the selected AT products. Except for the Orthopaedic Workshop in the National Rehabilitation Centre, most of the services related to procurement and distribution of AT products is privatised. Among the companies which procure and distribute AT products, there are also some Disabled Peoples’ Organisations and NGOs.
  5. Both, PwDs and elderly persons, need a prescription recommending required APs from a specialist (in cities and aimags) or health centre doctor (in somons and villages). This prescription has to be approved by the medical inspection commission at aimag/city level. PwDs must also have their disability certificate.