Global Alliance Promotes Primary Healthcare System Reforms in Georgia

Global Alliance will assist Georgia in implementing primary healthcare (PHC) system reforms, Jean-Elie Malkin, President of the International Consulting Group of Global Alliance, told the international conference that was held at the national medical-training center of the Georgian Ministry of Labor, Health and Social Protection.

The conference “Primary Healthcare: Future Perspectives in Georgia” was organized by Global Alliance. Experts Prof. Peter Makara from Semmelweiss University Budapest and Doctor Andrei Mechineanu introduced studies: 1) Cornerstone of Healthcare Services Supply Systems and 2) Primary Healthcare in Georgia: Renovation and Reinvestment. The presentations referred to the recent initiative of Georgian Health Minister David Sergeenko on primary health system reformation which aims to make a serious positive influence on public health.

“For many years our health system has erroneously focused on the technologies needed to refine hospital treatment, high-technology operations and developing unprecedented technologies. This is very important for the healthcare system, but this is only a part of the pyramid. This sector includes three main functions: prevention of diseases, early diagnosis of disease and its efficient management, and providing the population with medical education. These three main functions of the PHC system were pushed to the backstage in the past. Our main goal now is to restore the ground on which a normal healthcare system is based,” Minister Sergeenko said. “The Georgian Ministry of Health has shifted accents onto the PHC system as a cornerstone of the healthcare system. With the active involvement of professional doctors and nurses, and with the support of Global Alliance, the country is starting a new process to outline the importance of a PHC system.”

“More resources, higher skills and higher quality are required to improve the system for public welfare. This is our goal,” Jean-Elie Malkin, President of the International Consulting Group of Global Alliance, said. “This means citizens will visit the primary health system and will have less need to visit secondary and third chains of the health system. Consequently, early diagnosis ensures higher chances for healing, and recovery will proceed at a higher quality.”

“Georgian Primary Healthcare Should Be Unique”- Jean-Elie Malkin

“New demands on PHC emerge due to aging, depopulation, need of prevention, and long-term care of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Because of underinvestment in primary care in the previous decades, the current supply of primary care requires the significant strengthening of network, infrastructure, human resources, and financing, and setting up of the right incentives to produce quality services and universal coverage with primary care,” reads the statement issued by the Georgian Ministry of Health and the international consulting group Global Alliance.

Both Jean-Elie Malkin and Prof. Peter Makara underlined the importance of recognizing primary healthcare (PHC) as the priority for the country. “Since the Independence Day of Georgia, primary healthcare has been stressed as the main priority by the government, however this remained true in rhetoric and nothing substantial has been done in this regard up until this point,” said Hungarian Prof. Makara, a specialist in Public Health Policy. Jean-Elie Malkin, who is actively working with the Minister of Health David Sergeenko in the Hepatitis C elimination program, in his turn told the media that Georgia needs to create its own PHC model that will be tailored to the country’s healthcare specificities. Mr Malkin stressed that many countries may have similar programs, but Georgia needs to focus on creating a unique model that will be successful for the country.

“A PHC system has been established in Georgia, but we can always improve the system by giving more tools, skills, finance and recognition to the doctors who are in charge. Not only the doctors but also the med-sisters who work in primary healthcare,” said Mr Malkin.

23 July 2015 22:54