INTRODUCTION OF UNIVERSAL HEALTH PROGRAM IN GEORGIA: PROBLEMS AND PERSPECTIVES Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Since 2013, Georgia enacted Universal Healthcare (UHC) program. Inclusion of uninsured population in the UHC program will have a positive impact on their financial accessibility to the health services. The study aims to analyze the referral rate of the beneficiaries to the health service providers before introduction and after application of the UHC program, particularly, how much it increased the recently uninsured population referral to primary health care units, and also to study the level of satisfaction with the UHC program. Research was conducted by qualitative and quantitative methods. The target groups' (program beneficiaries, physicians, personnel of the Social Service Agency) opinions were identified by means of face-to-face interviews. Enactment of the UHC programs significantly raised the population refferal to the family physicians, and the specialists. Insignificantly, but also increased the frequency of laboratory and diagnostic services. Despite the serious positive changes caused by UHC program implementation there still remain the problems in the primary healthcare system. Also, it is desirable to raise the financial availability of those medical services, which may cause catastrophic costs. In this respect, such medical services must be involved in the universal healthcare program and been expanded their scale. For the purpose of effective usage of the limited funds allocated for health care services provision, the private health insurance companies should be involved in UHC programs. This, together with the reduction of health care costs will increase a competition in the medical market, and enhance the quality of health service.

publication date

  • January 1, 2017