26 November, 2013
Interview with Healthcare Minister Davit Sergeenko

There are assumptions that portfolios of some ministers may have new owners; Davit Sergeenko, Healthcare Minister can become one of the Ex (the interview took place before names of candidates for ministerial posts got known). We spoke with him.
Q. – Can it happen so that we won’t see you in the new team of ministers?
A. – I don’t know. In case they see my performance as efficient, I will of course go
on working.
Q. – There are many who don’t know that you were a rugby player. Team play in this sport is very important. Is there any resemblance between the political and sports team play and do you think the team will survive without Bidzina Ivanishvili?
A. – Team play is determined by three main principles. According to the first one, the team must win by all means. The second dictates that you must always help your team mates whether you are tired or not. The third one says that you shouldn’t admit inadmissible and violate the rules.
In case you exclude the third principle, you become a Mafioso, adhere to nepotism and set up a clan. As for what will happen without Ivanishvili, I say it again that names change nothing. Achieving the goal is of utmost importance.
Q. – What do you think is the main problem of healthcare system?
A. – The approach to the healthcare system was incorrect. Application of free market principles in healthcare became a huge problem; it can’t work in our system. The opponents say that allegedly degree of medical service needs no state control, there is no squandering of resources – a patient can decide himself to which doctor or clinic to apply and this process will regulate the market. Such an approach is a big mistake.
Q. – Why don’t we allow the patient to choose a doctor and clinic?
A. – For instance, when you want to buy a TV set, your family budget, advice of your close people determines your choice; you of course visit shops as well and then buy the selected set. What happens in case of medical service? The patient has a vague picture: he has ache, cough, temperature … he goes to the seller of the service – to a doctor, and it’s up to him to decide whether the patient needs ambulant therapy, hospitalization or something else. We can’t rely only on conscientiousness of doctors i.e. service providers. Unfortunately we can’t be sure that he won’t sell the patient more service than he actually needs. This is the principal, strategic difference between the free market and supplying of medical service; for this reason healthcare can’t be subordinated to the free-market rules, left without levers for regulation.
For all this time we were attempting not to fall into the abyss, survive and stand on our feet. How soon we’ll have the effect? We’ll have the first result in children’s onco-haematology at the beginning of 2015. The newly set-up infrastructure will meet the needs of every patient; we’ll have the personnel which will help to solve the problems through the required equipment.
Q. – Won’t it be necessary to take children abroad for treatment?
A. – No, it won’t; there may be only few exceptions. For instance, today stem-cell implantation children are taken abroad; we’ll do it here. As for the general oncology, it will take much time, I think at least three years. We’ll have results in emergency as well.
Q. – What will emergency look like?
A. – It’s important that the doctors have required knowledge and experience. For instance, in case of traffic accident a doctor should be able not only to render necessary assistance but to assess the situation on the spot with the help of special scale and decide on which institution to take the patient. Today everybody is taken to the nearest district hospital; for hours, days they are kept there until the situation deteriorates and then they are moved to another place somewhere else. It’s a serious problem but it’ll be solved soon.
Q. – Insurance companies, clinics, pharmaceutical companies concentrated in one hand create problems to patients…
A. – Yes, it’s a problem. Thanks to our methodology, the cases of partiality will be decreased considerably and the patient will be taken to the clinic that will suit his health best.
Q. – You compared oxygen intoxication with results of having PR overdose…
A. – When people are given oxygen overdose we observe excitement, hyper-activity, euphoria, they think how nice all these, the world are … If overdose isn’t interrupted, injuries ensue. The first sign of it is a tunnel-like vision, characteristic of the people who are in agony. It is called tunnel-like hallucination; that’s why the people who return from the next world say that they were rushing through the tunnel. It’s a tunnel-like ischemia i.e. wherever you look you see only a restricted space, whatever you want see. When breathing-in 100% oxygen, information isn’t fed to breathing center. Everything is damaged: brain, sight, lungs and it results in demise of the system. This is exactly the case with people who for years were torn away from reality due to oxygen or PR overdose. For this reason here is the Healthcare Ministry warning - oxygen and PR overdose is dangerous for your health (is smiling).