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State works on project for financing child delivery

By Salome Modebadze
Wednesday, January 9
Child delivery will be free of charge for every Georgian citizen from July 1, 2013. Chairman of Parliamentary healthcare Committee Dimitri Khundadze said on Monday that the state will take responsibility in covering all the necessary expenses from the united insurance fund. The fund does not yet exist, but it will soon be established. According to the Chairman of Committee, healthcare will be the main priority for 2013.

He said if the budget considered for healthcare issues was 450 million last year, now it has increased to over 800 million.

Tamar Gvarjaladze, Director of Patriarchate’s Maternity House said the state initiative would positively reflect on the demographic situation in the country. Welcoming the initiative Gvarjaladze explained “we have the best conditions in the clinic and if the state will finance child delivery it would increase the level of child delivery in the country,” she said.

Professional Unions are sure that the creation of the insurance fund will be a “guarantee” for protecting citizens’ healthcare. Professional Unions also felt positive about free child delivery as the way for improving the demographic situation, stressing they have been urging the government and parliament to carry out similar activities together with other social projects for ages. They also welcomed that the new parliamentary healthcare committee has started the New Year with “such a good initiative” and hoped it would be a step forward for Georgia’s development as a “socially equal country.”

However, Davit Kobeshavidze, General Director of the Imedi Clinic said it is better if the pregnant women decide themselves which maternity house to visit. “If the state finances every maternity house equally, the level of competition will not increase,” he said. Kobeshavidze expressed his willingness to assist the group working on the issue together with his colleagues. Kobeshavidze doubts a possible demographic breakthrough with this initiative.

“We are aware of this issue and know which way to follow,” he said, welcoming innovations. However, he thinks that Khundadze’s initiative needs careful consideration before exercising it in real life.

Minister of Healthcare Davit Sergienko said later on Tuesday that experts are now calculating the finances necessary for covering free child delivery. He said this process will end by late January and the insurance fund will begin operating from February 1st. According to Sergienko, from the 633 million GEL allotted for healthcare, 505 million GEL is considered for health insurance.