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Expat Exchange - How to Enroll in the Public Healthcare System in Georgia
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Tbilisi, Georgia


How to Enroll in the Public Healthcare System in Georgia

By Joshua Wood, LPC

AGS Worldwide Movers
AGS Worldwide Movers

Summary: A primer on how to enroll in the public healthcare system in Georgia.

If you're planning to enroll in the public healthcare system in Georgia, this article covers the requirements for foreigners to be able enroll in the public healthcare system, the steps involved and more.

Georgia, located at the intersection of Europe and Asia, is a country known for its rich history, diverse culture, and warm hospitality. If you're planning to move to Georgia, one of the key aspects you need to understand is the country's public healthcare system. This article will provide you with an overview of the public healthcare system in Georgia and guide you through the process of enrolling in it as an international newcomer.

Overview of the Public Healthcare System in Georgia

The public healthcare system in Georgia is known as Universal Healthcare (UHC). The UHC was introduced in 2013 and is funded by the government through general taxation. The quality of healthcare in Georgia has improved significantly over the years, with the government investing heavily in healthcare infrastructure and services. However, it's worth noting that the quality of healthcare can vary, especially between urban and rural areas.

Enrollment in the UHC is mandatory for all residents of Georgia, including foreigners who have a residence permit. Most people in Georgia use the public healthcare system, although some also opt for private healthcare services for more specialized treatments or quicker access to services.

The cost of healthcare under the UHC is generally low, with the government covering a significant portion of the costs. However, some services and treatments are not covered by the UHC and must be paid out-of-pocket by the patient.

Enrollment in the Public Healthcare System for Foreigners

Foreigners are allowed to enroll in the UHC if they have a residence permit in Georgia. The residence permit can be obtained by foreigners who are working, studying, or have family ties in Georgia. Once you have a residence permit, you can apply for enrollment in the UHC.

Steps for Enrolling in the Public Healthcare System

  1. Obtain a residence permit: The first step is to obtain a residence permit in Georgia. This can be done through the Public Service Hall or the Georgian Embassy or Consulate in your home country.
  2. Register with the Social Service Agency: Once you have a residence permit, you need to register with the Social Service Agency (SSA). This can be done online or at a local SSA office.
  3. Apply for UHC: After registering with the SSA, you can apply for UHC. The application can be submitted online or at a local SSA office. You will need to provide your personal details, residence permit number, and other relevant information.
  4. Wait for approval: Once your application is submitted, it will be reviewed by the SSA. If approved, you will be enrolled in the UHC and receive a health insurance card.

It's important to note that the enrollment process can take several weeks, so it's recommended to apply as soon as you have your residence permit.

Alternative Healthcare Options

If you're not eligible for the UHC or if you're looking for more comprehensive coverage, you can consider private health insurance. There are several private insurance companies in Georgia that offer a range of health insurance plans. Private health insurance can provide quicker access to services, coverage for a wider range of treatments, and the option to choose your own doctor or specialist.

Whether you choose public or private healthcare, it's important to understand the coverage and costs associated with each option. It's also recommended to seek advice from a healthcare professional or insurance advisor to ensure you choose the best healthcare option for your needs.

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.


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