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The confrontation between the Ministry of Health and hospitals

By Thea Mariamidze
Friday, May 8
Health Minister Davit Sergeenko met with the heads of Tbilisi medical institutions involved in the Universal Health Insurance Program.

The meeting was held on May 6 and it was attended only by 20 representatives of hospitals in Tbilisi.

The minister denied the spread information, that the hospitals cannot give salaries to doctors and other employees due to delayed payments from the Ministry of Health.

Several days ago, Rustavi 2 aired the story, which reported that the doctors of Tbilisi Clinical Hospital have not received their salaries for 13 months.

The medical personnel said that their incomes are minimal. Moreover, they often have to work without payment.

According to them, because of the Universal Health Insurance Program, the transfer of their salaries is often delayed from the Ministry of Health.

The story also revealed the same problems in several hospitals of other regions, saying that because of the minimal payment and salary delays, the doctors are leaving their jobs and the clinics cannot function properly.

Sergeenko stated that the Ministry of Health performs all its duties perfectly and not even a single clinic has received salaries late.

“All the hospitals are provided with funds in a timely manner and if there are any problems, it is the problem of the management of the hospital itself,” Sergeenko said.

The Minister explained that if there are any debts towards certain clinics, they must have emerged before 2012 during the tenure of the previous government, when the private insurance companies and not the Ministry of Health used to pay the hospitals.

He also said that after the universal healthcare program was launched, the number of the patients has increased and the service quality in hospitals has significantly improved, which positively affects the population's welfare and the income of clinics as well.

The Health Minister pointed to a targeted campaign and stated that it aims to discredit the system of Universal Insurance.

One of the main issues of the meeting was the death of 24-year young man in Shuakhevi, who died in one of the clinics of medical corporation Evex due to the lack of appropriate medical service.

Sergeenko rebuked the general director of Evex, Giorgi Mindiashvili, and demanded an explanation.

Several days ago Evex Corporation stated that they are withdrawing from the Universal Health Insurance program, but Mindiashvili later denied the statement, saying that there has not been any changes in their policy, and the young man died due to a lack of ambulance vehicles.

The Minister said that the investigation was ongoing concerning the incident and promised to give a detailed report after it is completed.

The directors of Tbilisi clinics agreed with the minister, saying that there have never been problems about payment delays and sometimes the funds are transferred from the Ministry of Health before the given periods.

According to the Ministry of Health, the universal health care program covers 298 clinics. A total of 597 179 028 Gel has been transferred to the hospitals since 2014.