Georgia Healthcare Group PLC (“GHG” or “the Group”) announces that we, as the largest healthcare provider in the country, realise our responsibility within Georgia to help combat the Coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic and have developed a significant Group-wide action plan to address the outside demand, our customers and patients’ needs, as well as to ensure the performance and well-being of our employees at an organisational level.
We have put contingency plans in place for all our businesses and units, including healthcare facilities, pharmacies and our central warehouse. To prevent the virus spread, employees of our hospitals and clinics have been given comprehensive training, including how to manage patient flow, based on Georgian National Center for Disease Control and Public Health (“NCDC”) recommendations. Special triages have been put at the entrances of our hospitals to manage flow properly and visitors’ entrances have been closed. Our call centres have been briefed about prescreening of patients. Educational materials have been distributed and are widely accessible in our facilities and online. Personal protection equipment has been procured and made available in our facilitates, with appropriate instructions.
We are working with our key vendors on a daily basis to ensure uninterrupted furnishing of materials and supplies, taking account of the current limited supplies of certain goods. We are closely monitoring and managing our stock level, to ensure that we have enough medicines and major consumables in the country, in case of a significant virus outbreak.
To protect the health and safety of our employees all of our businesses’ head offices have moved to remote working.
Currently, patients affected by COVID-19 are being managed in designated state infectious disease facilities that do not involve GHG. However, in order to prepare for any potential outbreak, in case of need and in close coordination with the Government, we have announced our readiness to isolate four GHG hospitals across the country with properly trained medical personnel, isolated wards, intensive care and critical care units. This will limit the spread of the virus in regular hospitals.
We are in constant contact with the Georgian NCDC and Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs and are awaiting further instructions, should additional activities become necessary.
Given the current level of uncertainty with regard to the global impact of COVID-19, and the potential length of time of that impact the Group is reconsidering its capital expenditure projects and at this time is prioritising only those that are important to current business’ operations. In the meantime, while the full economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is better understood, the Board of Directors has decided not to recommend a dividend to shareholders at the 2020 Annual General Meeting at this stage, as announced in the 2019 preliminary results on 24 February 2020. When the full economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is better understood, the Board will consider the appropriate level. We will provide a further update with the announcement of the Group’s first quarter of 2020 results in May.
“So far, the country is successfully tackling the global Coronavirus crisis. GHG’s performance also remains strong in 2020 and all of its units are continuing operations without any interruption. Currently our priority is to provide flawless service to our patients and customers and to support the country’s governmental healthcare systems to effectively manage the situation and keep our employees and citizens healthy. The Group is well-positioned with strong capital resources for the current challenge, and we aim to ensure that this remains the case. We will monitor the impact of COVID-19 on an ongoing basis to manage our resources according to evolving circumstances and will take further steps to keep our communities safe.” commented Nikoloz Gamkrelidze, CEO of Georgia Healthcare Group.
This announcement contains inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of Regulation (EU) No 596/2014.
Name of authorised official of issuer responsible for making notification: Ketevan Kalandarishvili, Head of Investor Relations