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Some clinics o misspending state funds

By Tea Mariamidze
Thursday, January 19
Davit Sergeenko, the Minister of Labor, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia, says that several clinics used money allocated by the state for management and dividends, and spent only a small amount on medical personnel and patients.

Sergeenko made this statement during a meeting with heads of the leading clinics. He said that the ministry would not cooperate with such clinics in the future.

At the meeting, the Minister spoke about the planned future reforms and added that improvement of patients’ security and care would be the top priority of the Ministry.

“The largest part of the state funds paid to the clinics are spent on management, and only a small amount is spent on patient care and the wages of doctors, nurses and other medical personnel,” Sergeenko stressed.

Akaki Zoidze, the head of the Parliament’s Healthcare Committee said that the state-led Universal Healthcare Program would be perfected in the future.

“We want to upgrade medical healthcare packages of the vulnerable citizens and include medicines in the Universal Healthcare program,” he said.

One of Georgia's most successful Government-led initiatives, the Universal Healthcare Program, was launched in February 2013 in order to serve all non-insured individuals who lived in Georgia.

The government made changes into the Program in September 2014.

The changes meant that medical aid for the pensioners, children less than five years of age, students and persons with disabilities would be administered by the state instead of private insurance companies.

Moreover, for the group of people mentioned above, the general waiting time for planned surgeries decreased from four months to two months.

The changes also enable the recipients to choose which clinic they prefer to be treated at, instead of choosing from a short list offered by the private insurance companies.

The Health Ministry stated that from January 2017 the Universal healthcare Program would not be available for the individuals who have private insurance.

Previously, all Georgian citizens, insured or uninsured had access to the Universal Healthcare Program, which increased the state funding in this sector.

From 2017, only uninsured citizens will benefit from the state program.