Principal Investigator: Maia Butsashvili, Health Research Union
The research was intended to evaluate the impact of targeted health insurance on the health of individuals displaced within Georgia by conflicts with Russia during/prior to 2008. The research aimed to measure outcomes on healthcare utilization (frequency and access), expenditures and self-reported health status (including birth outcomes) amongst IDPs. The study intended to conduct a Health Utilization and Expenditures Survey (HUES) to measure differential outcomes for IDP households covered by the targeted health insurance program, and analyse factors, such as urbanization, compact settlement or integration and their impact on health utilization and expenditures. The study also sought to enable comparison with health outcomes and expenditure amongst the general population in Georgia.
Programmes and Outcomes Achieved
A Health Utilization and Expenditures Survey was successfully undertaken amongst IDPs in Georgia. A total of 1,319 questionnaires were completed, enabling the research team to collect and analyse data from over 4,300 household members relating to self-reported health expenditures, healthcare utilization and health status of IDP populations. The survey was carried out among IDP currently living in Georgia mainly residing in compact settlements – specifically built accommodations or administrative buildings allocated by the Municipal Government.
The ability to make comparisons with non-IDP populations was more limited than anticipated at the study outset, due to changing restrictions on the availability of HUES results from the general population. Changes to the health insurance schemes during the study period meant packages overlapped, and comparison between participants of targeted and non-targeted schemes did not demonstrate any significant differences.
HRU plans to work with Government and NGO partner Abkhazeti to increase the level of awareness among IDP populations about the services they are entitled to. The HUES survey findings will act as a baseline to determine future trends of health expenditures, healthcare utilization and health status amongst IDP and non-IDP populations, enabling assessment of the fast-changing healthcare policies and operational models among IDPs.
We found that awareness of health programs is extremely low among IDP populations. The vast majority, over 90%, don’t know that there are healthcare programs covered by the government. The most important intervention that is needed following our research is to work with IDPs to increase their level of awareness about the services they are entitled to.
Internally displaced people are an especially vulnerable population group in Georgia. Implementing household surveys posed challenges, such as problems in accessing rural settlements and their non-responsiveness. To overcome these challenges, we worked with a Georgian NGO ‘Abkhazeti’ which has more than 19 years of experience of engaging with the IDP population in Georgia. This organization had regional representatives in all target settlements, and their activities ensured that our interviewers had access to the communities.
Georgia is not the first country that comes to mind when you think of current humanitarian crises. The multitude of recent natural disasters in Mexico and the Caribbean, the cholera…View
We employed household survey for the assessment of self-reported health expenditures, health status and utilization of health-related services among internally displace persons (IDP) in Georgia. This is a common survey…View
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