Access to health care improving in Georgia, says WHO

  • Research found about 51% of people involved in the Universal Healthcare Program have never been insured before. Photo by N. Alavidze/Agenda.ge
Agenda.ge, 25 Jun 2015 - 18:43, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian citizens have better access to healthcare services than in previous years, said an emphatic Georgian Prime Minister while summing up the progress and achievements of the country’s healthcare system.

Garibashvili spoke about the findings of a report of Georgia’s healthcare services operations and spending in 2014, compiled by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the World Bank and the US Agency for International Development at a special conference yesterday, and stressed people in Georgia no longer had to sell their cars to pay for basic medical treatment.

"All citizens are provided with basic medical services. About 3.2 million people are involved in the Universal Healthcare Program while 530,000 are on private or corporate benefits. This is one of the many achievements of the health sector,” he said.

PM Garibashvili and representatives from WHO, the World Bank and the US Agency for International Development held a conference yesterday in Tbilisi, which was attended by more than 150 guests from non-governmental organisations, diplomatic corps and the local health sector.

Garibashvili thanked the three agencies for contributing to the development of Georgia’s healthcare system but stressed one of the priorities of the Georgian Government was to continue to improve access to healthcare.

Currently about 3.1 million people are involved in the Universal Healthcare Program and 530,000 have private or corporate health insurance policies.

"It is very important for us to see that private spending on health services have reduced by 20 percent. Numbers and recent activities point out what we have done,” said Georgia’s PM.

In 2014 the number of people who accessed a healthcare service was higher than in 2010. At the same time the cost of treatment also reduced. Now, the number of people who cannot access medical care because of lack of funds has decreased by half. The state has a duty to care for its citizens and I am happy to see our Government achieve this. Now access to basic healthcare services has increased. Also the number of services available has increased, particularly in rural areas,” Garibashvili told the crowd.

The PM promised the Government would continue its current policy and successfully implement all projects initiated to develop a healthcare system that benefitted the whole nation.

The state financed almost 100 percent the healthcare costs within the Universal Healthcare Program, said the research.

About 51 percent of people insured under the Universal Healthcare Program have never been insured before, said the report.

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