Nikoloz Gamkrelidze, head of Georgian Health Group (GHG):
GHG is a major actor on this market and is represented in all segments of this market – hospital, insurance or pharmaceutical. Various challenges exist in each of them and there are various types of opportunities too. The year of 2017 was rather transient in terms of changes.
Universal Health Program was launched in 2014 and Government started active efforts in 2017 to enhance the program efficiency. As a result, the market rules were revised, specific criteria were determined for inclusion of a person in the program. The program has outlined target programs and this was very important. This decision has redirected rich citizens to private insurance sector, while poor citizens will receive improved packages with a wider list of medications. This was a transient year for state programs.
As to GHG, this was another dynamic year for the company. We opened hospitals and this process continues. At the beginning of 2018 we will open 2 major hospitals with 700 beds. We continue making investments in the sector. We are major investor in health sector and we have made 180 million GEL investments in 2016-2017. We plan to make 50 million USD investments in 2018. In general, we have optimistic moods for the coming 2018 year. We expect more changes on the market. Universal Health Program is a vivid organism and changes will take place on permanent basis. We expect more changes for differentiating valuable and invaluable medical facilities. I hope a classification system will be introduced in this sector, because those who care, should be appreciated more. I believe this is a key challenge in this health sector.
In this case I mean that Government has contracts with all facilities and they do not satisfy quality criteria and I believe higher-quality selection should be carried out. This factor will provide more quality guarantees. We expect these changes and we have positive mood.
As to the pharmacy market’s major players, we are represented by two brands – GPC and Pharmadepo. These two brands will operate on the market separately. GPC makes focus on personal care things and will maintain this direction. As to introduction of new brands, we will activate efforts in the future and offer more novelties to the consumer.