As a leading integrated player on the Georgian healthcare market, we understand our responsibility not only to shareholders but to society at large. The concept of sustainability lies at the heart of our business and reflects our commitment to sustainable development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
We continue to introduce new sustainability practices in our operations and are constantly seeking new ways to improve our performance, including in the following areas: environmental issues (focusing on the impact of the company’s business on the environment), employee matters and social responsibility. We strive to contribute to society across all of our business activities by developing socially oriented services, implementing responsible approaches to our business operations and carrying out sponsorship and charitable activities.
We are proud to serve three-quarters of the Georgian population and makes every effort to promote a healthy lifestyle. We use our medical expertise in our social initiatives to focus primarily on providing pro bono medical assistance, developing medical infrastructure and improving the health awareness of the Georgian population.
Free medical check-ups
Our services cover more than 75% of the Georgian population with clinics located across the country providing access to high-quality medical services, including to those living in remote mountain regions. We have put in place a series of measures to ensure that those living in more remote regions in the country have access, including regular scheduling of visits of specialists to small towns and villages and transporting patients to larger clinics in urgent cases or where more sophisticated treatment is required.
The healthcare services business of GHG also provides free regular medical examinations in its facilities throughout the country. In 2018, we carried out 23 different free screening programmes in total, benefiting up to 73,000 patients. Such free-of-charge medical check-up and screening programmes include managing tuberculosis, breast cancer screenings, prostate cancer screenings, hepatitis C screening and diabetes programme.
In addition, GHG’s specialists deliver free medical services, including examinations and treatments for socially and economically disadvantaged groups of the population. In cooperation with other healthcare institutions, the Group arranges free blood donations for its patients.
We help patients with chronic diseases get accessible and affordable care by offering special prices at GHG pharmacies for the medications they need on a regular basis. Such patients can register five most frequently used medicines on their GHG loyalty card (loyalty cards are available at our pharmacies) and get extra discount on each purchase.
To support parents with young children, we offer them special prices on the most demanded products at our pharmacies. The parents can choose different pharmacy and parapharmacy products, such as diapers, porridge, milk formula, washing gel and moisturising lotion, to register on their loyalty card and get extra discounts.
Diabetes in Georgia, and globally, is on the rise, with the incidence rate per 10,000 citizens now reaching 394. To address the disease’s increasing prevalence, we offer 50% discount on test strips to patients with diabetes.
Children’s Oncology Programme
We traditionally participate in the Government-subsidised Children’s Oncology Programme. Under this programme, we offer cancer treatment to children with different oncology disorders (leukaemia, tumours and lymphomas) in our Iashvili Paediatric Tertiary Referral Hospital (“Iashvili”), a multi-profile paediatric medical establishment, that is the sole provider of pediatric oncology services in Georgia.
In 2018, more than 600 patients with different types of cancer received treatment at Iashvili onco-haematological department. The renovated department enabled us, for the first time in the history of the Iashvili Hospital, to receive patients with solid tumours and since then 262 children have completed the treatment course successfully
Promoting healthy lifestyle
Sponsoring medical TV programmes is our way of raising health awareness and promoting healthcare practices, enabling us to reach a wide range of the Georgian population. We have three TV shows: The Doctors, Day Show, and Impulse, each of which show the relevant health expertise in a simple and clear manner on various health and wellness issues, such as screening programmes, allergies, cardiovascular disease, oncology, arthritis, and others.
- To support a healthy lifestyle within the organisation, specially invited trainers conducted ten educational sessions for our employees to raise awareness on healthy living. In 2018 six such trainings were conducted, for 271 of our employees.
- Sponsoring a medical TV programmes is our way of reaching out to a wide range of the Georgian population to raise health awareness and promote healthcare practices. In 2018, GEL 120,300 was spent on financing these TV programmes.
We recognise that smoking continues to be one of the leading causes of preventable deaths in Georgia, and that it is a leading public health priority in the country. We also recognise that, as a national healthcare provider, there is a particular duty upon the Group to help those that wish to quit smoking to do so, whether they be employees or patients.
Since 2017, the healthcare services business has run a campaign Office Without Tobacco for its employees, promoting a healthy lifestyle within the organisation. With the help of the specialists and consultants invited from the Tobacco Control Alliance, a special treatment programme was developed. Each of our employees willing to give up smoking can participate in the programme to get rid of their nicotine addiction using medication and psychological treatment, totally free of charge. With the help of the programme, since 2017, approximately 19 employees have been successful in quitting smoking. In 2018, participants also had several meetings with the employees who shared their experience on how they gave up smoking after a successful completion of the 2017 course.
In 2018, the healthcare services business also initiated a new anti-tobacco campaign for its patients called Don’t Quit on Quitting. Under the campaign, professionals invited from the Tobacco Control Alliance trained our 62 GPs and equipped them with special Carbon Monoxide (“CO”) meters. Smoker patients were offered free measurement of CO in their body, free consultation on how to quit smoking and medical treatment by prescribing the medicines that are available at our pharmacies with special discounts. During the campaign, 57 people signed up and underwent the programme.
In addition in 2018, our pharmacy and distribution business launched a new anti-tobacco campaign, increasing the awareness of negative effects of smoking on health and promoting a healthy lifestyle. The campaign includes digital commercial activities, where children expressed their opinions on how harmful smoking is for health and challenged their parents to quit smoking.
Sponsorship and charity
As part of our sponsorship and charitable activities, the Group continues to focus on promoting and enhancing access to education and healthy lifestyle, facilitating innovative projects that focus on social goods to deliver sustainable results and bring positive change.
The healthcare services business partnered with Educare Georgia to support their initiative and sponsored the translation of Khan Academy’s, a well-known international learning platform, full biology course into Georgian.
To support the country’s new generation and contribute to their development, the healthcare services business cooperates with different universities across Georgia and operates the Students’ Programme, which includes the following initiatives: improved healthcare package under UHC, scholarships and sponsoring tournaments, meetings with motivational speakers, master classes and outdoor activities.
We believe that professional medical education is the cornerstone of healthcare quality in Georgia. For this reason, we try to develop a healthy learning environment by financing international and local medical conferences. In 2018, we sponsored seven medical conferences and two workshops, which brought together medical scholars and healthcare practitioners from Europe, Asia, the US and Georgia to share knowledge and experience that influence and shape healthcare delivery. Total financing to support the conferences amounted to GEL 191,544.
In 2018, the healthcare services business signed a memorandum with the Georgian Solidarity Fund. According to the memorandum, we offer fund beneficiaries free medical services at our facilities. In 2018, up to 100 beneficiaries received free radiological check-ups at our hospitals and polyclinics.
In 2018, our pharmacy and distribution business sponsored the charity event “Festival of Life” organised by Monk Andrew’s Foundation. The foundation takes care of children with oncology problems, gives them financial and psychological support and helps them in the rehabilitation process.
The healthcare services business also partners with Dimitri Tsintsadze Foundation, a charitable fund that helps children suffering from leukaemia and cancer, and the Monk Andria Foundation and offers 20% discount on all our healthcare services for all of the fund’s beneficiaries.
With the support of the Caucasus Nature Fund (“CNF”), we are involved in the Project of Maintenance of Caucasus Natural and Cultural Heritage. The fund is meant for effective long-term management of the protected territories of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. In 2018, CNF announced a fundraising campaign in connection with its tenth anniversary to support the region’s magnificent nature. GHG donated GEL 60,700 to the project.