Learn about the Georgia Healthcare System & Medical Insurance Options for Expats
Georgia is located between Asia and Europe on the east of the Black Sea. Countries like Turkey, Armenia, and Azerbaijan share their borders with Georgia. It gained independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. After that, Georgia implemented a healthcare system that was comprehensive, highly centralized, and state-operated. However, the government failed to maintain the healthcare system which ultimately led to the introduction of compulsory social health insurance during the 90s. Later, this system was also abandoned and private health insurance plans became the primary system for financing various medical care services for residents in the country.
As an expat moving to Georgia, you may be a bit skeptical about the healthcare system in the country. This is where international health insurance can help you out when living in Georiga. Even though Georgia’s healthcare system has evolved and improved in the last couple of years, opting for an international health cover can give you peace of mind as a first-time expat. There is no doubt that the Georgian government is working hard to bridge the gap between Georgian and European healthcare standards.
More health information about Georgia is available at WHO.
Overview of Healthcare in Georgia
As one of the poorest countries of the former Soviet Union, 31% of Georgia’s population can’t afford basic healthcare facilities. The healthcare system is not on par with other European countries. On the positive side, Tbilisi and a few other major cities have medical centers of a high standard compared to other cities. So, during your stay in Georgia, you may have to go to larger cities in case of an emergency or a specialized treatment.
How the Georgia Healthcare System Works for Expats
Since 2013, the Georgian government has embraced a new publicly financed universal healthcare program that offers healthcare to the entire population. This program offers various benefits including primary and secondary care services and some essential medicines. However, it is important to note that healthcare services are not free or subsidized for expats. So, purchasing an international health insurance plan before you move to this country is advisable.
Public Healthcare in Georgia
The state funds the country’s universal healthcare system. Citizens have access to medical care in the private system of medical facilities. The introduction of the universal health care program in 2013 was aimed to provide government-sponsored healthcare facilities to the Georgian population and boosting the health care facilities. The Social Service Agency (SSA) is responsible for purchasing publicly financed medical care services.
Private Healthcare in Georgia
On the other hand, households living below the poverty line get private insurance coverage. Their coverage is paid from public funds. However, all other individuals must get insurance coverage on their own accord. Having comprehensive global healthcare insurance comes in handy here as out-of-pocket payments remain the main source of funding in Georgia’s health system. It further reduces access for a lot of people, particularly access to pharmaceuticals.
Emergency Medical Services in Georgia
Georgia has just one emergency number in case you need any assistance urgently. Dial 112 for ambulance, firefighting crew, police, and extreme situation management crew. People with special needs can send SMS or make a video call to obtain an emergency service.
Medicines and Pharmacies
Medicines for personal use are easily available in Georgia. If you are planning on bringing a large supply of medicine for your time in Georgia, please consult the Georgian embassy or consulate about the type and quantity of medicine that you wish to bring with you.
Best Private International Medical Insurance Plans for Expats in Georgia
Expats should opt for international health insurance to enjoy a hassle-free stay in Georgia. You will have the peace of mind and won’t have to worry much about medical costs if you have the desired insurance coverage. Your comprehensive medical insurance plan should also include medical evacuation if you face an accident or critical illness.