Georgia’s healthcare system faces multiple problems: limited training for doctors, poor access to hospitals in the regions, expensive medicine. But some health professionals believe the biggest issue boils down to simple arithmetic – there are too many doctors and not enough nurses.
Dr. Giorgi Gotsadze, a specialist in public health who works for the Curatio International Foundation, a Georgian think-tank, noted that Georgia has far fewer nurses than doctors compared with some European countries – according to 2006 government data, 380 nurses versus 410 doctors per 100,000 people. That compares with a rate of 894 nurses and 355 doctors per 100,000 people in the European Union, Gotsadze said, citing Foundation research.
Efforts, though, have been taken to improve the situation – a research center created in 2009 with assistance from the US-based Emory University and American consultants, had provided training for over 1,100 nurses as of 2012.
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Molly Corso is a freelance journalist who also works as editor of Investor.ge, a monthly publication by the American Chamber of Commerce in Georgia.