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Reforms are catastrophic if they are conducted only by experts, Kouchner said in Tbilisi

By Messenger Staff
Monday, November 23
The Former Foreign Minister of France Bernard Kouchner has paid an official visit to Georgia.

The major aim of the visit was for Kouchner to share his medical experience with Georgia, as he also served as the French Health Minister for several years.

Kouchner, who is chairperson of the board of the Global Alliance health organisation and a co-founder of the union Doctors Without Borders (MSF), arrived in Georgia after the invitation of Georgia’s Health Minister, Davit Sergeenko.

The former French official, who served as France's Foreign Minister between 2007-2010, held meetings with Georgian Government members and took part in the joint committee meeting of the Global Alliance and Georgian Ministry of Health.

He also participated in a conference entitled Healthcare Challenges in the 21th century-Georgia and the World.

Kouchner said that political decisions which will provide all citizens with access to medical services are necessary.

“I was the Health Minister of France for 7 years and there were many challenges in my country. Reforms were also conducted there. I would like to assure you that reforms will be catastrophic if they are conducted with only experts’ support.

“We tried this and did not receive good results. I would say that we are at the first stage of a very significant political reform. This is not only a medical reform. We refer to the political decisions that will enable the Georgian population to have access to medical services. Of course, such availability was not ensured in our country and Georgia has also apparently not yet achieved it,” Kouchner said.

Kouchner stressed that in the course of reforms, active communication was even more crucial than experts’ views.

“Experts’ experience alone is not enough. It is also important to explain what happens and what is expected. Sharing the goals of the reforms with society is very significant. When you conduct such reforms, such a dialogue should exist,” Kouchner said.

He has also stressed that conducting such important reforms in the healthcare system would necessitate certain expenses.