Reform strategies in Georgia and their impact on health care provision in rural areas: evidence from a household survey

This paper aims to contribute to the assessment of the impact of health sector reforms in Georgia. It mainly focuses on changes in the patterns of health services utilization in rural areas of the country as a function of implemented changes in healthcare financing on a primary health care (PHC) level. Our findings are based on a household survey, which was carried out during summer 2002. Conclusions derived from the findings could be of interest to policy makers in transitional countries. The paper argues that health financing reforms on the PHC level initiated by the Government of Georgia, aimed at decreasing financial access barriers for the population in the countryside have rendered initial positive results and improved access to essential PHC services. However, to sustain and enhance this attainments the government should ensure equity, improve the targeting mechanisms for the indigent population and mobilize additional public and private funds for financing primary care in the country. Read further.