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Ministry of Health presents reform plan

By Tsotne Pataraia
Thursday, December 26
Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Labor, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia held a presentation of planned health reforms. One of the main goals of the reform is to improve the quality of primary care.

According to First Deputy Minister Tamar Gabunia, the quality of healthcare remains a challenge in Georgia compared to European countries, service use is low and cannot reach four per capita per year. Gabunia said that opening up new opportunities in health care for the first time would be another basis for the population to return to primary care, increase confidence in their family doctors and, most importantly, get quality services.

The Minister of Health Ekaterine Tikaradze also spoke about the new reform. She believes that this reform is crucial as primary health care is a fundamental part of the whole system:

"Primary health care is the starting point for the well-being of all citizens, the quality of our future lives, and therefore we believe that reform should begin with the first steps to be taken in primary health care," Tikaradze told media.

Following Tikaradze, an important task to fulfill at the moment is also to study the quality of drugs on the Georgian market by the Drug Regulatory Agency. According to her, the reform includes both increasing of qualification of doctors and improvement of infrastructure:

"I am confident that our doctors will be able to restore lost confidence. The qualification of our doctors is really equal to the qualification of European doctors and we will be able to prove it,” stated Tikaradze.

The Minister thinks that the medical community has been 'very revitalized' lately:

“I am pleased that the medical community has been very revitalized lately. There is a lot of debate, we argue and after a certain period of time the quality of our healthcare system will really meet our patients' demands, It will be as trustworthy as in Western countries," noted Tikaradze.

Ekaterine Tikaradze also talked about the situation in schools. She believes that activating social workers and psychologists in schools would significantly improve the situation:

“We have been intensely involved in this process and believe that the activation of social workers, the activation of psychologists in schools will significantly change the solutions we have in society today. I believe engagement of the media is also very important in the sense of the negative atmosphere that exists in society today, this is the responsibility of both the government and the media,” said Tikaradze.

Tikaradze has been the subject of widespread criticism lately in connection with the recent reform initiated by her ministry. It is known as Government Resolution 520, which entered into force on November 21. The most important part of the reform is the equalization of tariffs for similar services in various clinics under the universal health program. The Ministry of Health has set equal tariffs on certain services for all clinics participating in the universal health program.