In the pre-election period political parties are introducing different concepts for economic, political, social and healthcare sector development. Several reforms in the healthcare sector carried out by the ruling Authorities are considered the most successful steps. It is interesting how political parties running for the 2016 parliamentary elections plan to develop the healthcare sector and what they will change in the event they win a majority votes in the parliament?
Girchi new political center
The healthcare program of Girchi new political center comprises three main priorities, under which a number of changes should be carried out in the system, valuable and healthy competition conditions should be established in the insurance sector. The financial support amount of state insurance program beneficiaries should be revised due to their social status.
In the previous week Girchi representatives introduced the healthcare program at the Healthcare Press Club. Vakho Megrelishvili, one of the founders of Girchi political party noted that the program comprises three main directions:
- the government will not interfere in medical business and it will ensure free competition;
- citizens will independently choose insurance companies;
- Taxpayer’s money will be directed to the medical industry through specific persons;
- Health insurance will become an inseparable part of the family pension system.
- Reformation of medical education Medical facilities will be able to organize medical schools and postgraduate education.
- Continuation of pharmaceutical reforms – integration with EU regulatory institutions (creating opportunity for information exchange about medications admitted to own markets).
- Any insurance company and medical institution will enjoy equal conditions and only customers will give priority to this or that company.
- Reasonable Financial Support
Vaxo Megrelishvili explains that it is not just to maintain universal health insurance in the existing form. Financial support system should be differentiated due to the social status of our citizens.
«Since I am a medium-income citizen, it is not just to have the same degree of access to medical services as a citizen, for example, with 400 GEL income», Megrelishvili noted.
Girchi offers this form of insurance system:
- The Authorities will insure 1.5 million persons, extremely poor and poor 400 000 families, as part of the best insurance package. The price of the best insurance package for an averaged family will be about 800 GEL a year.
- The first 100 000 families from the medium class will be insured under standard service package and its average annual price will be roughly 670 GEL.
- A part of upper medium and well-off citizens will be insured from expenditures of emergency medicine. The emergency medicine costs for a family with an annual revenues of 16-26 thousand GEL a year are supposed to be 3000-5000 GEL (difference between them and poor and medium-income families). Any expenditures that exceed the limit spent by the family will be covered as part of the state insurance.
Irakli Alasania — Free Democrats
In the event Irakli Alasania — Free Democrats come to power, the party plans to implement a number of changes in the healthcare sector. The healthcare system improvement occupies an important role in the party’s pre-election program. Koka Pruidze, one of the leaders of the party, noted thatthe Free Democrats’ healthcare program prioritizes the following aspects:
- Improving medical service quality
- Growing healthcare attainability and universality
- Universal provision of services
- Lowering medication prices and control over their quality
- Protection of rights of a patient and medical staff
- Control over quality of healthcare and medical education
- Establishing Healthy Lifestyle
The primary healthcare sector development is of crucial importance for the whole health system development, as well as socially just distribution of financial component, Koka Pruidze noted.
«Today there is two categories of citizens in Georgia: «the first category that is financed by the Authorities by 100% and the second category – all others».
Free Democrats offer universal system of payment that will be divided in two parts – base and universal packages.
The base package will be applied for the whole population of Georgia. Moreover, an additional package will be introduced that will be financed due to revenues of our citizens – pensioners, disabled persons, children under 5 years old (other categories may be also included) – this additional package will be financed by 100%. This percentage indicators may be lowered depending on revenues of our citizens.
«Free Democrats» give priority to support doctors and hospital nurses living in villages. Currently, 700 village doctors and hospital nurses operate in Georgia and they receive very low wages. Village outpatient facilities are in heavy condition in terms of equipment. Doctors and nurses are also in heavy condition, because they do not have appropriate working conditions», Koka Pruidze said.
«Free Democrats» offer the following scheme for improving working conditions of village doctors:
If outpatient facilities in each village (that is one doctor and two nurses) do not send 2 patients to a hospital that do not need hospital services, 25 million GEL may be saved a year. Free Democrats believe that the saved financial resources should be directed to doubling wages of doctors and hospital nurses.
«Today village doctors take 600 GEL wages on average. We can increase this amount to 1200-1300 GEL, while wages of nurses will increase to 600-700 GEL from current 250 GEL», Koka Pruidze noted.
The party also plans to popularize the profession of a hospital nurse. Currently, we have more than 30 000 doctors, while the number of hospital nurses is very low. A majority of nurses has exceeded middle age and despite they work well, new generation is not coming to substitute them and this is a real problem. The objective of Free democrats is to make the profession of hospital nurses attractive in terms of financial interest and education.
Free Democrats also pledge to lower medication prices.
«We will develop the list of essential medications (base, necessary medications) that the government will buy, distribute them to villages and to family doctors. These medications will be issued to patients by only family doctor’s prescriptions. The mechanism of this management already exists in Georgia. For example, vaccination – when the Authorities buy vaccines for everybody and issue them free of charge due to prescription and this process is performed by village doctors and nurses», Koka Pruidze noted.
The Caucasus Business Week (CBW) continues introducing election programs of political parties. THE CBW will publish heath programs of other political parties too.