Public Defender’s Recommendation on Elimination of Discrimination on Grounds of Age and Health Status

On December 21, 2021, the Public Defender addressed the Government of Georgia with a recommendation to eliminate discrimination on the grounds of age (in combination with health status).

The case concerns one of the rare diseases - Behcet's syndrome, the outpatient supervision and inpatient treatment of which are funded by the state programme only for patients under 18 years of age.

The Public Defender notes in the recommendation that the artificial precondition for receiving financial support from the State for the treatment of the disease makes the protection of the right to health (including treatment) of persons under the age of 18 non-systemic and ineffective. In addition, it should be noted that this syndrome can develop at any age, although it usually begins to manifest between the ages of 20 and 30 years. It should also be noted that the economic insecurity of the population of Georgia makes it unrealistic for the patient to fully bear the financial burden of treatment with his/her own or family’s income after reaching full age.

Based on the above, the Public Defender called on the Prime Minister of Georgia to review the state policy on reimbursement of medical expenses for adults with Behcet’s syndrome.

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