TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia has signed an agreement with a British consultancy firm to reform the country’s healthcare system.
The goal of the agreement with Global Alliance for Health and Social Compact Ltd is to bring Georgia’s health system in line with European standards.
Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili met with representatives of the firm on Thursday, while Health Minister Davit Sergeenko signed the agreement with the group.
The ministry said signing the deal was done “within the frames of” the association agreement signed with the EU last year, a phrase which usually means that it was a requirement by the EU.
Georgia has an almost entirely privatized healthcare system after a reform by Saakashvili, following many years of decay. Standard of services offered by private clinics differ wildly. Some are run below any imaginable standards and ambulances break down during emergencies due to lack of maintenance.
As it begins its attempt to bring in European standards, Global Alliance will involve its network of experts who are also doing work in Ukraine, to prepare a reform with potentially profound consequences, the stated goals of which are to improve ‘quality of healthcare’, and ensure ‘better access’ to care.
The experts will work to “provide quality healthcare, pricing and availability through new, innovative methods. One of the basic principles will be reduction of healthcare costs with absolute observation of European medical standards,” Interpressnews reported.
Little is known about Global Alliance, whose website sports only stock photos of models and offers little information. According to public information in the UK, the firm was founded in August 2014, and its office is in a small residential house in Somerset, UK. The director is 23 year old Christopher Davey.
Dr Jean-Elie Malkin, who represents the firm, appeared in local media, reassuring Georgians that this will be a transparent process.
The expert group will work in partnership with the government to prepare a new ‘model’ for Georgia’s healthcare sector, which will give people better access to higher quality care, according to Malkin, who has experience working for the United Nations with preventing HIV/AIDS.
The ministry listed the goals of the partnership as providing better quality of service to patients with secure and effective treatment, creating treatment protocols, having modern medical and pharmacological product regulation system and security monitoring.
According to the Health Ministry, Global Alliance includes experts from different European countries who are working with healthcare and in the medical sector.