Health-Care Reform in Georgia

A Civil-Society Perspective: Country Case Study

Publication date: 5 June 2009

This report aims to identify key challenges arising from reform of the health-care system in Georgia, especially in primary health care, and to present some possible strategies to address them. The report is intended to be a useful reference document for Oxfam, our partners, and all those concerned with improving the provision of health care in Georgia.Oxfam and partner organizations in Georgia have been campaigning as part of the Georgian coalition ‘Future without Poverty’ for access to quality health care, in particular maternal health care, since 2005. In 2006 the Government of Georgia launched a new health policy reform agenda, with the ultimate aim of privatizing the whole Georgian health-care system.  Aware of the potentially far-reaching consequences of such fast-paced health-care reform, and concerned by the lack of clear information about the strategy and the direction of these reforms, Oxfam and partner organizations decided to undertake an in-depth analysis of the reforms, using interviews with various stakeholders and detailed desk research.The resulting report consolidates this analysis into a comprehensive presentation of the current state of the health sector in Georgia, including the main health statistics. It is hoped that by identifying key challenges in the Georgian health-care sector, and possible strategies to address them, this report will inform health policy development, lobbying, and campaign work at local, national and international levels.The research report revealed the following challenges facing health-care reform in Georgia:

  1. How to ensure universal access to services within the private health insurance context.
  2. How to ensure quality of care.
  3. How to ensure meaningful civil-society participation.

In order to address these challenges, civil-society monitoring of the current health-care reforms in Georgia should focus on:

  • Ensuring effective access to health care for the poorest population, particularly by monitoring the state-funded programmes for people living below the poverty line;
  • Demanding that the Georgian Government sets strict quality standards for health-care providers, and enforces them through regulation;
  • Advocating for the creation of a space for civil-society engagement in the planning and decision-making processes concerning the health-care reforms in Georgia.