The danger of Georgian debt is its payment08.04.2011 | 20:47
World Health Organization and International Labour Organization decided to remind Georgia of repaying the earlier accumulated debts. Last year, WHO appropriated over six hundred dollars to the Caucasian republic for fighting pig flu but the latter failed to conquer the virus. Today, Georgian government is again going to open a reserve fund where it will take one percent of all the money it has got there. There is an impression that in a country where Health and Social Programs Agency has been abolished the Ministry of Health is a nomenclature administration that is to conceal the president and ministers' financial scheming. The issue was discussed by GeorgiaTimes with economic expert Soso Tsiskarishvili.
the Ministry of Health is a nomenclature administration that is to conceal the president and ministers' financial scheming. The issue was discussed by GeorgiaTimes with economic expert Soso Tsiskarishvili.
The Cabinet is going to find over 220 thousand dollars to repay the debts. It is planning to open a reserve fund, which constitutes only 220 million dollars. One more percent seems to be a serious amount to be spent on repaying the debts that the authorities plunged into when buying some useless pig flu vaccine. International Monetary Fund and World Bank are already at Georgia's door; they have come across the violation of the payment schedule and now threaten Georgia with problems in debts restructuring.
"Georgia may hardly boast of any success in health reforms, for they are constantly announced but no one seems to be interested in the results. The fact that one percent of the reserve fund will be spent on repaying the debt to the World Health Organization means the republic's desire to maintain nice relationship with this authoritative organization, for WHO itself is not very much interested in Georgia's domestic problems. International institutes have got a similar attitude to all countries having authoritarian regime. Today, basing on the state policy, Georgian government is going to set up a serious "competition" as to who to repay and who not", - economic expert Soso Tsiskarishvili expressed his viewpoint on the future of the Caucasian republic's debt.
It is, however, an enigma how the Georgian authorities are going to fight their people's diseases. Next time, WHO will hardly be so nice to the Caucasian republic as to spend its time on developing social and insurance programs and, moreover, to give money for that. The people are indignant but the government is calling on them to keep their head. Last autumn, Ministry of Health was subject to a small reform but the citizens can hardly feel any changes. When only 35 dollars is allocated per person in Sakartvelo so as he/she could use the so-called free of charge medicine, projects and agency reduction is just a drop in the ocean.
Minister of health denies the fact that the restructuring of the administration is attributed to opening the reserve fund in order to repay debts to WHO and ILO. In fact, that is an odious way the government is fighting elite corruption. Last year, the state budget allocated 350 million laris to improve social sphere but the money got into the hands of some bureaucrats and vanished without a trace in their pockets, including 1,7 million laris given to the Agency for the immunization program. The Prosecutor-General's Office and Chamber of Control held an investigation and found out that the companies that won the tender for buying vaccine against German measles, measles and mumps overstated the costs of medicines which turned out to be overdue later on. No wonder they had to ask for allowances for new medicines. And now the government has no idea of how to get out of the debt pit.
The question is whether the reserve fund will stand the withdrawal of such an amount. According to the monitoring of non-government organizations, the government and the Georgian president often come to the "healing spring" to sponsor their own needs. Several dozens of millions of laris annually exceed the limit of moneyboxes. Health system is used as a cover for financial scheming, that is why various departments of the Ministry of Health are regularly abolished. Our interlocutor explains: such situation developed in the country because the future of the budget means was defined by only four people that do not even include Chairman of Parliament David Bakradze and Prime Minister Nika Gilauri - the circle of elite corrupt officials is very narrow.
"That's not the first case when the Georgian government acts according to the principle "guillotine is the best remedy against dandruff". Thus, the decision to abolish the Health and Social Programs Agency was a bit ill-considered. It was the minister of health who was to be accountable for the money embezzlement but the responsibility does not occur not because someone is preventing the officials from punishment but because no one asks what the money allocated for the state programs will be spent on. Of course, no one is going to seek for the guilty ones, which fact negatively affects the general situation in health care. This sphere is purposefully used as a revenue item in the form of trading on prestige land plots in the center of various cities, like, for instance, the One Hundred Hospitals program announced four years ago which was never realized. The so-called health reform causes a great nostalgia about the Soviet epoch in the society, which, of course, does not correspond to the government's plans", - the expert sums up.