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Effect of Universal Healthcare Program Reforms in Georgia on Primary Health Care Service Utilization and Patient Satisfaction

L.Gumbaridze; T.Chanadiri; L.baramidze; I.Zarnadze, Georgia

The purpose of our research was to evaluate the effect of Universal Health Care Program reforms in Georgia in terms of how the measures of quality of PHC services had been changed, such as primary health care service utilization (subjective perceptions of beneficiaries) and patient's satisfaction.
We made prospective study among a representative sample of 300 adults, registries in primary healthcare centres in Tbilisi (capital of the Republic of Georgia) area (with a population of 1.114 million). The research sample population was constituted using a 3-level random sampling method. The research was completed within 268 participants. Measurements of primary healthcare service's satisfaction by researched population demonstrated higher scores in several domains: (a) Duration of continuous registration (>12 month) in the PHC - 84%; (b) First contact positive experience (subjective perception) with PHC - 56%; (c) Rating of Usefulness attitudes toward PHC services - 52%; (d) Rating of clearness and exhaustiveness of information provided by PHD - 64%.
However, parameters of the further period, after the first contact, include challenges: Most of the participants (54%) were neither satisfied nor unsatisfied and the program has covered less than 50% of the primary healthcare needs for 68% of beneficiaries.
Primary healthcare system generally operates a monopoly and uniform offer; only 8% of beneficiaries from sample have applied additional private insurance packages.

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