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Who should manage healthcare

By Tea Mariamidze
Thursday, December 8
The former President of the National Bank of Georgia (NBG), Giorgi Kadagidze, believes that healthcare programs should be managed by the private sector, not the state.

“The government should stay away from the illusion that they manage healthcare better than the private sector,” said Kadagidze.

He added that in 2014, the government decided to manage healthcare which caused increased expenses.

“However, the salaries of doctors and medical staff did not increase and generally healthcare quality did not improve,” Kadagidze said.

The ex-President of the NBG also spoke about the government’s Universal Healthcare Program launched in February 2013, which covers particular medical expenses of all non-insured individuals who live in Georgia.

Kadagidze said that in 2016, the government spent 600 million GEL on Universal Healthcare, saying 200 million from this expenses was the income of some owners of clinics.

“This means that from total 800 million GEL of the budget, which is spent by the government on so-called social projects, 240 million is income of the clinics and program operators, plus administrative expenses of the Health Ministry itself,” he added.

Kadagidze gave several recommendations to the state, how to get immediate fiscal effects and improve the situation in this field.

He believes that everyone who gets income from the state budgetary resources should be required to publish its financial statements, as it happens in case of banks or insurance system.

“The government should let the private sector to run the programs, in order to introduce competition in the sector,” Kadagidze says in his post, adding that these changes would bring immediate fiscal effect-100 million GEL.

The government made changes into the government-led Universal Healthcare Program from September 1, 2014.

The changes meant that medical aid for 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, 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.

Generally speaking population of Georgia considers current healthcare system to be major success of GD administration.