Public Defender’s Statement on Worsened Epidemiological Situation and Low Degree of Transparency
In response to the recently worsened epidemiological situation, the Public Defender of Georgia calls on the state authorities to answer the legitimate questions that have arisen in the society relating to the fight against COVID.
Unfortunately, the number of COVID-infected people is daily growing in Georgia and the death rate is also high. The Public Defender expresses her deep sorrow over the above and offers her condolences to the family members and relatives of the deceased.
The media periodically reports of cases when families of the deceased indicate delayed hospitalization and treatment, which caused the death of patients. The same problem was indicated by the parents of a 19-year-old patient who died of coronavirus on November 29. According to the family members, the patient had a concomitant chronic disease, however, despite their repeated requests, the patient was not taken to the clinic on time.
It was reported on November 30 that the case of the death of the 19-year-old patient was being examined by a special commission. It should be noted that according to Order № 01-482/O of the Minister of Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia (September 24, 2020), the clinical audit of COVID-19 case management in inpatient medical institutions is carried out by a group of experts, which, based on the analysis of the results obtained, prepares recommendations to improve the quality of COVID-19 case management.
The Public Defender emphasizes that in order to ensure the standard of transparency and answer the legitimate questions of the public, it is not enough for the State to speak about the bed fund and the general readiness of the health care system alone.
Given the high public interest, the Public Defender of Georgia appeals to the Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia to provide the public with information on the results of the work of the team auditing the COVID-19 cases. In particular, how many cases have been analyzed so far, what shortcomings have been identified and what specific recommendations have been issued, as well as what specific measures are planned to be taken and when the shortcomings will be eliminated.