Posted: 10 months ago

COVID-19 Triggers Healthcare Reforms in Georgia

As the COVID-19 pandemic reveals the urgent need to reform healthcare provision around the world, Georgia is seeking to strengthen its medical governance and improve health services for people, building on the country’s successful response to the first outbreak of the virus.

To support this effort, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) today signed a memorandum with the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Labor, Health and Social Affairs (MoIDPLHSA), aiming to assist the recently established Georgia Medical Holding (GMH) in managing public healthcare facilities. The support from UNDP and Sweden will also extend to assisting Georgia in introducing a clinical quality assurance mechanism across the country. The initiative will be implemented with up to USD 150,000 in funding from the Government of Sweden.

“Georgia’s health system demonstrated its strong capacity to protect people amidst a major healthcare crisis,” said Georgia’s Health Minister Ekaterine Tikaradze. “We gained invaluable experience that will help us move forward in reforming healthcare, making it more strategic and efficient.”

“One of the decisive factors behind Georgia’s exemplary response to the pandemic is that the authorities listened to health professionals and heeded their advice in taking action,”  said UNDP Head Louisa Vinton. “At UNDP, we are proud to offer our assistance to the health sector in protecting people’s lives.”

Established earlier this year, the Georgia Medical Holding (GMH) provides management support to publicly-owned hospitals across Georgia. It currently manages five healthcare facilities: the Tbilisi Republican Hospital, the Rukhi Hospital, the Tbilisi Oncology Center, the Tbilisi Children Infectious Disease Hospital, and the Batumi Republican Hospital. In the future, GMH will expand its work to more public health institutions in Georgia. 

UNDP will help GMH develop an organizational strategy for institutional development and systematize the experience gained during the pandemic. UNDP will also assist the Ministry in enhancing a clinical quality assurance mechanism to support case management of patients with COVID-19 and other diseases, and ensure that each case is audited by a team of experts, the quality of healthcare services is monitored through regular consultations, and relevant recommendations are developed to improve healthcare practices.

Contributing to Georgia’s Government priorities in the field of healthcare, the initiative will be implemented by the Curatio International Foundation (CIF), a leading organization with over 25 years of experience in health policy.

“Better functioning health systems and adequate health policies are an urgent necessity highlighted by the pandemic,” said CIF President Dr. Giorgi Gotsadze. “We will offer Georgia’s health system new solutions to address its challenges by enhancing its strengths.”

Assistance to the health system is part of the wider support to governance reforms in Georgia provided through a six-year, USD 5 million program that UNDP implements with Swedish funding.