President signs medical sector, intellectual property bills “despite question marks”

  • President Salome Zourabichvili decided not to use her veto on the bills “considering ongoing challenges and current needs” in the sectors. Photo: President’s press office 

Agenda.ge, 26 Jul 2023 - 15:23, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili on Wednesday signed amendments related to the domestic medical sector and intellectual property rights despite having “several question marks” over the changes, her Administration said. 

Zourabichvili decided not to use her veto on the bills “considering ongoing challenges and current needs” in the sectors, the Administration added.  

It noted the amendments, proposed by the ruling Georgian Dream party for the domestic Health Protection Law, served to reduce potential risks to citizens’ life and health and improve quality control, but said the frequency and tightening of the medical sector controls could hamper its activities. 

Conducting unplanned controls without prior permission of the court and frequent planned controls give administrative supervision a certain leverage to influence the sector if desired”, the President’s Administration said. 

It also stressed paying “close attention” to enforcement of new mechanisms could prevent selective application of the law. 

In remarks on copyright law amendments, the President said she believed they could bring the domestic legislation closer to European standards as it served to improve the protection of authors' rights to some extent.

However, she pointed to the risk of organisations influenced by Russia occupying an “exclusive place” in the field, which she claimed had already happened in other countries.

The President said the mechanism could become a “tool in the hands of Russia” to strengthen its soft power and influence on the creative and intellectual sector of Georgia, and 

encouraged authorities and supporters of the amendments to be “cautious” to prevent threats. 

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