ISSN ONLINE: 2558-815X
ISSN PRINT: 1584-9244
ISSN-L: 1584-9244

Primary health care reforms in Georgia: the experience and chalenges


Introduction. Primary healthcare can be considered as a cost-effective mechanism, which is mainly focused on the prevention of diseases and improvement of health.
The objective of the study was to explore the attitudes and values which underlie primary health reform in Georgia and to investigate the goals of reform and the strategies designed to achieve them.
Materials and methods. The article is based on a documentary analysis, which included official documents and non-official journal publications.
Results. Georgia became one of the first post-Soviet countries where primary healthcare policies were introduced, and the concept of family medicine was formed. During the Soviet period, primary health care was organized within the territorial concept, where patients had no right to choose a family doctor. After the reorientation, patients were granted the right to choose a family doctor, which increased the competition among doctors. Primary health care organizations have become independent legal entities. Contractual relationships have been formed between the medical organization and the healthcare staff. Primary health care organizations were mainly funded by public purchasers based on the capitation remuneration method through federal and municipal health programs, which increased the competition among doctors and motivated them to provide high-quality healthcare. Despite the reforms, the primary health care system is facing many challenges. This can be evidenced by the low level of referral of patients to family doctors and their lack of trust in them.
Conclusions. Primary healthcare reform should contemplate the development of the family doctor system, which includes promoting continuing medical education for family physicians, optimizing the geographical distribution and accessibility of primary healthcare services, and increasing remuneration for primary healthcare personnel.
Keywords: primary healthcare, family medicine, healthcare system.

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Medicine and Healthcare Management School, Caucasus University, Tbilisi, Georgia


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Verulava T, Jorbenadze A. Primary health care reforms in Georgia: the experience and challenges. Arch Balk Med Union. 2022;57(4):384-389.