Meeting of the Healthcare Reform Council was held with participation of the Ministry and Global alliance representatives. Bernard Kouchner, the Chair of the Global Alliance Supervisory Board, Jean-Elie Malkin, President of Global Alliance, Valerie Kvaratskhelia, Deputy Minister and the other Council members attended the meeting.
For the purpose of increasing efficiency of the healthcare system, the participants reviewed documents prepared within the framework of the agreement signed between the Georgian Government and Global Alliance.
„The first phase of our cooperation can already be considered as successfully completed. The set of documents is prepared that represents not only recommendations or initiatives just written on a paper, but also a practical and a comprehensive program, which covers all areas of reform implementation. This is the strategy for development of the Georgian healthcare system as well as its specific action plan”, – said Bernard Kouchner at the meeting and noted that this was quite ambitious project, which should change the healthcare system in Georgia:
“ The primary document is already prepared, as well as the proposal, which describe all those items the fulfillment of which is to be decided by the Ministry. The main objective of the process is that all Georgian citizens have access to healthcare services and to primary healthcare. Receipt of high-quality services depends on qualification of healthcare personnel, their remuneration, administrative and economic factors. The first stage was successfully completed and now we face the second stage – the implementation of those proposed 14 items the implementation and consideration of which is within the competence of the Ministry.”
Kouchner emphasized importance of the recommendations, which were based on the international best practice. Strategic documents cover programs for cost-effective management, development of primary and electronic healthcare innovative models, disease control and monitoring, creation of staff motivation systems. Draft laws were prepared and specific mechanisms presented, which would increase access to healthcare services.
“At the summarizing meeting of the Council we addressed the necessity to continue the healthcare reform and increase the system efficiency, we reviewed all aspects of our cooperation. Certain documents were submitted, which will allow us to make the final decision. I would like to thank our consultants and the Ministry staff for performed work, who were working during the 24 hours to achieve the desired outcome”, – said Valeri Kvaratskhelia.
It is important that the documents provided by the consultation group cover several key areas. Mr. Kvaratskhelia stressed the DRG system of payments and explained: “We already passed certain stage in universal healthcare and now it is time to make it cost-effective. In such case DRG is the irreplaceable form of payment. Consultations given by experts in primary healthcare are also significant. As you know, primary healthcare in Georgia, in fact, has to be created again. Everyone who has a headache visits hospital. Treatment in this type of medical institutions is much more expensive and increases costs.
Therefore, primary healthcare reform is the key. Regulations in the area of pharmacy are also important. Amendments need to be introduced to the Law on Pharmacy. Therefore, we made decision to work on drafting a new law in cooperation with consultants, since we can afford such luxury. In addition, there is no Law in the country on medical items, which is already written by consultants and we will continue working on that.”
Jean-Elie Malkin the President of Global alliance made emphasis on the most important aspect of the reform. “Our goal was to prepare comprehensive reform program and not just separate components of it. I am glad that in cooperation with the Ministry and personally with great support and efforts of Mr. Sergeenko, the Minister, we managed to prepare such a complex program, in case of implementing which the access to healthcare services, quality medicines and diagnostics will increase for the Georgian population.
The first stage is successfully completed. Both the Ministry and we performed significant work. We closely cooperate with our Georgian partner, the Ministry of Healthcare. The major task was to propose those 14 items, which we developed. Now the priority should be given to funding, provision of high – quality service and primary healthcare development. We have to work on implementation of the proposed recommendations,”Malkin said.