"One Hundred New Hospitals" for Georgia: How Long Will They Last?
Early in 2007 the Georgian government launched a nationwide program of hospital sector restructuring deemed “100 New Hospitals.” The goal of the program is to transfer ownership of all state-owned, privately administered hospitals in Tbilisi and the regions to the private sector by means of direct sale. The following report assesses the Georgian government’s hospital privatisation program in light of the broader healthcare reform goals specified in the European Community-Georgia European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) Action Plan, namely: improvement of the quality and accessibility of healthcare services, restructuring of healthcare administration and management, and establishment of a sustainable system of healthcare financing. A key concern of this report is the tendency of the privatisation program to reward investor focus on numbers—quantity of new facilities and hospital beds, speed of completion of new construction, etc.—at the expense of guarantees of quality. A second major concern is the sustainability of the new hospitals and investors’ commitment to providing healthcare services in the long-term future.