Speeches & Statements

President Saakashvili focuses on education and healthcare programs

The reason we gathered here is to discuss implementation of the national presidential program. The programs we have today are the key priorities for Georgia at this moment.

Number of people involved in the program "Patriots" will double this year.

Rehabilitation program of the playgrounds will also continue.

I would single out two programs - rehabilitation of healthcare centers and education program which also envisages establishment of the professional retraining centers.

With regard to the rehabilitation of the hospitals and medical polyclinics, our aim is to turn Georgia's healthcare system, which is completely ruined and in a very bad shape, into a European level healthcare system in 2008. This is really possible.

This year we should start rehabilitating dozen of healthcare centers. There are no modern medical polyclinics in the whole Black Sea cost where one can get first aid. There is also a shortage of well-trained professionals.

We need new hospitals in Gori, Zugdidi.

We offer you to start rehabilitating Republican Hospital. It is absolutely impossible to have such a grave hospital in the center of the city.

We don't have a good clinic in Georgia. We will start rehabilitating such a clinic.

This year we will start building tuberculosis and mental hospitals which will be finished by next year.

We will also start rehabilitating an oncological center where the medical equipments are of early 60s. The same situation is in an oncohaematologycal center which does not meet modern standards and needs to be revised substantially.

The second issue is repairing schools.

1,300 schools need to be repaired in Georgia. 300 schools out of 1, 300 need to be repaired immediately and substantially.

All the schools in Georgia should be equipped with modern facilities, computers and modern heating system.

When this program is finished there would not be a single school which will not meet modern standards.

I offer the ministry of education to identify those schools which have to be repaired.

Schools will be notified about this three or four months earlier so that they could accommodate the curriculum and enable us to finish a teaching process at schools four months earlier.

Once and for all Georgia must not be viewed as a legged-behind and the poorest country.

Education is the most prestigious field.

Georgian education and healthcare system should resemble the systems of the well- developed countries and we should seriously prepare for that.

Parents should not unexpectedly find out that their children have finished school on May 1 instead of July 1, and on September 1 went to school equipped with modern facilities. I instruct the Head of the Administration Giorgi Arveladze to oversee this process.

The program of the ministry of aducation "Deer Leap", which is about equipping schools with computers, should be implemented all over Georgia. We will definitely do it, however we need to mobilize and find the appropriate time for that.

By 2009, when the first presidential term expires, these two fields have to be highly developed in Georgia.

With the rehabilitation of the hospitals and equipping them with modern facilities we will pay due attention to the training of the personnel. This is the optimization of the personnel. We are short in professionals. They will be retrained so that they meet the requirements of the modern world.

From July we start insurance program for the poor. We have to fundamentally revise this system.

There are several other issues also - municipal development program.

Tbilisi starts setting up communities. People with the support of the government should take care of their blocks of flats themselves. Setting up communities is a very good initiative, however there should be some exceptions; there are families which can't afford it. Some part of the revenue generated from the privatization will finance the share of such families in the communities.

With the revenue generated from selling big buildings in Tbilisi we will help the poor. We should sell such buildings and with this money repair elevators and the roofs of the poor people's houses. When the big plants are sold we will calculate how many people's lives have been improved. If we develop such approach, these programs will be implemented by means of private initiatives.

Thank you very much.

Communications Office
of the President of Georgia

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