Public Defender Addresses Minister of Health on Enrollment of Persons with Permanent Residence Permits in Social and Health Care Programmes
On February 7, 2020, the Public Defender of Georgia urged the Minister of IDPs from the Occupied Territories, Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia to allow persons with permanent residence permits to have equal access to social and health care programmes, including state Hepatitis C management programmes.
The Public Defender's Office is still receiving applications concerning the restricted access of persons with permanent residence permits to health care and social programmes and their exclusion from the list of beneficiaries. The Public Defender once again emphasized this issue in her letter sent to the Ministry.
In 2017-2018, the Public Defender issued recommendations twice about the discriminatory practices of the implementation of state health care and social programmes in relation to persons with permanent residence permits in Georgia. The recommendations emphasize that social and health care programmes are not available for persons with permanent residence permits, unlike Georgian citizens. Consequently, these individuals face difficulties in living in a country, the budget of which is contributed by them.
The letter indicates that although the State can plan the country's social policy at its discretion, this opportunity diminishes when it unjustifiably distinguishes between essentially equal groups, especially, given that persons with residence permits and citizens of Georgia have similar tax liabilities, and therefore a state-funded health care programme should be equally accessible for such persons.
The letter sent to the Minister emphasizes that major and basic health/social programmes, as well as state programmes designed to control certain complex categories of diseases, should be accessible for a group of persons, who contribute to the growth of the country's budget and are legally in the same position as Georgian citizens.
The Public Defender hopes that persons with permanent residence permits will soon be able to enjoy the state social and health care programmes and thus discriminatory practices against them will be eliminated. The Public Defender expresses readiness for cooperation with regard to the matter under consideration.
 Public Defender’s recommendation of 5 October 2017: http://ombudsman.ge/geo/191127024151erovneba-mokalakeoba/saxalxo-damcvelis-rekomendacia-binadrobis-nebartvis-mqone-pirebistvis-socialuri-programebis-xelmisawvdomobis-shesaxeb;
Public Defender’s recommendation of April 4:http://ombudsman.ge/geo/191127024151erovneba-mokalakeoba/saxalxo-damcvelma-djandacvis-saxelmwifo-programit-sargeblobisas-moqalaqeobis-nishnit-diskriminacia-daadgina