By Messenger Staff
Monday, May 22Last week, Georgia’s Public Defender Ucha Nanuashvili held a working meeting with the representatives of various ministries and NGOs and discussed issues relating to the availability of healthcare services in the occupied territories of Tskhinvali and Abkhazia.
Issues over the equipment of medical institutions operating in the occupied territories, the retraining of medical personnel, access to healthcare services in Georgia proper for persons living in the occupied territories, the Zugdidi shelter for victims of violence and the state referral program were all discussed at the meeting.
The Ombudsman’s recommendations included the following:
• A children's reanimation department should be opened at the hospital that is being constructed in the village of Rukhi in the Zugdidi municipality; a children's ambulance vehicle should also be transferred to the region, which will serve children from Abkhazia as well.
• Additional resources should be allocated for the financial and material assistance of medical personnel working in the occupied territories and their professional training; medical facilities operating in the occupied territories should be adequately equipped.
• An ambulance vehicle should be transferred to the Saberio emergency assistance center in the shortest possible time.
• All necessary measures should be taken to help NGOs serving women, children, victims of violence and others in the occupied territories.
• A shelter for victims of domestic violence should be opened in Zugdidi, which will serve residents of Abkhazia as well.
• A mechanism should be developed for enrolling Georgian citizens living in the occupied territories in referral programs; amendments to the Government’s Decree on Establishment of Commission for Making Decisions on Provision of Medical Assistance within the framework of Referral Service and Definition of Rules of Actions should be drafted in order to establish uniform practices with regards to all citizens living in the occupied territories, regardless of their citizenship, of a compulsory nature.
Those people living near and in the occupied regions, which are now occupied by Russia, very frequently suffer from a range of violations, and have no access to quality healthcare.
Georgia continues its Hepatitis C elimination program, with thousands of Georgians receiving very expensive medicines free of charge, and the people living in the occupied regions can also use the program and the big opportunity.
Steps taken to help people living in the occupied territories, especially steps aiming to reform healthcare, means a step taken to reintegration.
People to people relations are essential, especially when Russia’s actions in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali have revealed the true side of Moscow's “goodwill” in terms of the local economy, and the welfare and personal freedoms of locals.