Ombudsman of Georgia recommends that government ensure healthcare access to Abkhazia and South Ossetia residents
Ucha Nanuashvili, the Ombudsman of Georgia, recommended that the Georgian government make the healthcare system more affordable for residents of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
At the meeting with representatives of various ministries and NGOs, the Ombudsman said that there are serious problems with infrastructure and the level of the medical personnel’s professional skills in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
“The residents of the occupied regions have no access to medical institutions in Georgian government’s controlled regions and they can’t engage in certain referral programs,” said Nanuashvili.
In his recent report, the Ombudsman provided examples of individuals who have no access to the Hepatitis C state-run program.
The Ombudsman calls on the Georgian government, in particular, the Ministry of Labor, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia, to take the following steps to resolve the existing problems:
- to open a children’s intensive care department at the hospital that is being constructed in Rukhi village, Zugdidi municipality, and to transfer a children’s ambulance vehicle to the region that will serve children from Abkhazia as well;
- to allocate additional resources for financial and material assistance to medical personnel working in the occupied regions, as well as for their professional training; to adequately equip the medical facilities operating in the occupied regions;
- to transfer an ambulance vehicle to Saberio-based emergency assistance center in the shortest time possible;
- to take necessary measures in order to facilitate the activity of NGOs that render assistance to the women, children, disabled individuals and abuse victims in the occupied regions;
- to open a shelter for domestic violence victims in Zugdidi, which will also serve the residents of Abkhazia
- to develop a mechanism so as to ensure the involvement of Georgian citizens from the occupied territories in the referral program; to introduce amendments to the government’s decree on setting up a special commission in charge of decision-making on issues related to the provision of relevant medical assistance as part of the referral service, and determination of the action rules thereof.