Accessibility of Urgent Neurosurgery Disease Services Covered by the State Universal Healthcare Program in Georgia (country)
Objective: The introduction of the State Universal Healthcare Program in Georgia has significantly increased the financial access to the urgent health services, among which are urgent neurosurgery services. The State Universal Healthcare Program covers 24 neurosurgery diseases. The aim of the present study was to investigate the financial accessibility to urgent neurosurgery services in Georgia.
Methods: In-depth interviews with the managers and the medical personnel of the neurosurgery hospitals and direct interviews with the patients or their family members through structured questionnaires have been used. The Tbilisi University clinic, “High Technology Medical Center,” has been selected for the research. Results: The results of our research showed that the financial accessibility of health services has significantly improved after the introduction of the State Universal Healthcare Program. Howeever, the program is not financing the specific types of urgent neurosurgery services or high-technological diagnostic tests (egg. CT and MRT). The financial limit defined by the State Universal Healthcare Program for the neurosurgery care is not perceived to be sufficiently helpful. Some patients had to pay the significant amount of the cost of the medical care that negatively affects their financial situation.
Conclusions: In order to increase the financial accessibility it is necessary to expand the list of urgent neurosurgical diseases covered by the State Universal Healthcare Program, and in urgent cases to finance the high-technology diagnostic tests. It is important to set acceptable financial limits for the urgent neurosurgical disease expenses so that a high cost for patients is avoided.
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Healthcare strengthening program, 2014, The evaluation of the healthcare program in terms of beneficiaries and service providers, final report http://www.moh.gov.ge/files/JAN-USID/1.pdf
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