UNFPA Georgia and Caritas Czech Republic Promote Accessibility to Rights-Based Healthcare for PwDs
April 15, 2022 News

UNFPA Georgia and Caritas Czech Republic Promote Accessibility to Rights-Based Healthcare for PwDs

Caritas Czech Republic works on promoting accessibility to the rights-based healthcare services for persons with disabilities (PwDs) and in partnership with the UNFPA Georgia Country Office started a new initiative that will support the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) under the Joint Programme “Leave No One Behind — from Policy and Principles to Practice in Disability-Inclusive Development in Georgia”.

Namely, the project aims to strengthen the foundation for equitable and inclusive access to high-quality and gender-sensitive healthcare services for PwDs, delivered in accordance with international human rights standards. The initiative is financially supported by the UNPRPD Multi-Partner Trust Fund. 

The Project Addresses the Gaps of Georgian Healthcare Legislation

Persons with Disabilities still face various challenges in Georgia when accessing health and social care services. This concerns not only physical access to healthcare facilities but also other barriers such as irrelevant attitudes and stigmas and lack of respective skills among healthcare professionals.

Even though in the last 25 years many changes were achieved concerning the protection of human rights in the Georgian healthcare system, there are still some gaps in Georgian healthcare legislation that requires harmonization with international contemporary practices and models of disability. With this in mind, the joint initiative of Caritas Czech Republic and UNFPA Georgia aims to ensure the revision of the legal foundations to ensure the development of gender and disability-sensitive standards of practices during the provision of medical services including sexual and reproductive health services.

The project will last for two years. In 2022, UNFPA Georgia and Caritas Czech Republic teams will work on analyzing and revision of health legislation and providing recommendations to the Parliament of Georgia for initiation of relevant legislative changes and to align them with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) principles. Noteworthy, in our project’s working group the persons with disabilities who have expert knowledge of the human rights issues will be represented to voice their respective recommendations. The amendments will address the Law on Rights of the Patients, the Law on Healthcare and the Law on Medical Practice and other respective normative acts.

Afterward, in 2023, the project will also support capacity-building of the healthcare professionals through revision of training and educational materials and building the capacity of professors so that they can pass this knowledge to their medical students and colleagues to deliver gender, and disability-sensitive quality health services, including sexual and reproductive services for PwDs.

Tamar Kurtanidze, Caritas Czech Republic’s project manager says that our organization has been trying to address the disability issue for years from a variety of perspectives. In this regard, she notes several interventions, including creation of social care services and educational courses for professionals:

We continue to support the implementation of UNCRPD principles to which Georgia is a signatory party. We have very progressive healthcare legislation in the region created after the crash of Soviet Union which is founded on internationally recognized principles. And it is a great opportunity to provide recommendations on its improvement and align it with UNCRPD principles in partnership with UNFPA”.

Tamar states that with the initiative financially supported by the UNPRPD Multi-Partner Trust Fund, Caritas Czech Republic will further contribute to the development of a more customer-friendly environment in healthcare settings for PwDs.

Caritas Czech Republic Advocates for the Rights of PwDs for Years

Through various projects, Caritas Czech Republic has been advocating for the rights of persons with disabilities, their social inclusion and accessibility to quality healthcare and social services for years. Within the framework of various donor-funded projects, our interventions were related to the development of pediatric long-term and palliative care services, as well as the establishment of regulations/standards for children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in Georgia. 

One of the main projects our organization currently carries out with the financial support from Czech Development Agency, aims to support the deinstitutionalization process of PwDs, meaning the development of the necessary strategy and action plan for the deinstitutionalization process in Georgia and the provision of community-based homes and services for persons with disabilities.

Within that effort, our experts in the field, in close cooperation with Czech colleagues and project partners’ representatives, identified the main areas of work, assessed the needs and interests of the target beneficiaries residing in large boarding homes, and prepared relevant legislative initiatives for the Government of Georgia. As a result, in 2022, some of the beneficiaries living in large boarding houses in Dusheti and Martkopi, will move to new family-style homes that are currently being rehabilitated by Caritas Czech Republic.


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