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On 25 December 2013, at the sitting of the Georgian Parliament, Dimitri Khundadze, Chairman of the Committee on Health Care and Social Issues and Member of the Parliamentary Majority, stated:  “We provide funding for childbirths and as of today, up to 17,000 childbirths have been funded.”

FactCheck

took interest in the statement of the MP and checked its accuracy.

According to the 2013 report of the Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia, within the framework of the Universal Healthcare Programme, from 1 July to 23 December a total of 16,924 childbirths were funded; of this number, 11,261 represented cases of natural childbirth and 5,663 were Caesarean sections.

It might also be of interest to the reader to see the statistics of the previous years, as provided by the National Statistics Office of Georgia, which we cite in the table below.

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The state has been allocating money for Pregnancy Monitoring and Childbirth in the framework of the Universal Healthcare Programme since 1 July 2013. The limit for a natural childbirth is GEL 500 while Caesarean sections receive GEL 800. In the case if a Caesarean section is performed solely based upon the patient’s desire and without the doctor’s relevant recommendation, the state covers only GEL 500 of the cost. The 2013 report of the Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs also indicates that starting from 1 January 2014, patients having private insurance terminated by 1 July 2014 will also be eligible for this service.

The childbirth funding issue has drawn the attention of FactCheck before

and as mentioned in our previous article, the sums provided by the abovementioned programme do not suffice in order to fully cover the costs of childbirth. A case in point is the Chachava Clinic where medical service costs in the case of natural childbirth start at GEL 550 and reach GEL 2,950 while in the case of a Caesarean section, the costs range from GEL 1,140 to GEL 3,550. The Imedi Clinic charges GEL 690 or more for natural childbirth while the Caesarean section procedure costs start at GEL 890. In the Shalva (Davit) Koridze Maternity Hospital Ltd, the costs for natural childbirth equal GEL 600 or more while patients are to pay at least GEL 900 for a Caesarean section. In the JLC Rustavi Maternity Hospital, the natural childbirth and Caesarean section costs start at GEL 580 and GEL 800, respectively. In the Davit Gagua Clinic, costs for natural childbirth and Caesarean section start at GEL 650 and GEL 995, also respectively, while the Embryo Maternity Hospital has prices starting at GEL 625 and GEL 900 (for natural childbirth and Caesarean section, respectively).

FactCheck

also inquired whether or not the state provided funding for childbirth before the Universal Healthcare Programme was introduced. Resolutions No. 218 and No. 165 of the Government of Georgia foresaw the funding of childbirth before the Universal Healthcare Programme although the majority of the beneficiaries comprised socially unprotected citizens and students. In these cases, the insurance limits for natural childbirth equalled GEL 500 and GEL 800 for a Caesarean section.

Conclusion

According to the 2013 report of the Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia, within the framework of the Universal Healthcare Programme, by 23 December, a total of 16,924 childbirths were funded; of this number, 11,261 comprised cases of natural childbirth and 5,663 were Caesarean sections. The MP is accurately indicating that the state has funded up to 17,000 child deliveries. Nevertheless, as our research showed, the amount allocated by the state is not sufficient to fully finance the childbirth procedure and in a number of cases the patients have to cover the remaining costs on their own.

Therefore, we conclude that the statement of the Member of Parliament, Dimitri Khundadze:  “As of today, up to 17,000 childbirths have been funded,” is MOSTLY TRUE.

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