International Medical Cooperation on Georgia’s Soil
01 May, 2014
International Medical Cooperation on Georgia’s Soil
Plato Esartia is an ethnic Georgian doctor whose family fled Abkhazia during the infamous fratricidal war there in the 1990’s. The much-suffered Esartia family finally found itself in Atlanta, Georgia in the USA, where they have happily and successfully been living and working up until now. Dr. Esartia is a professor at the Emory University and a very flourishing business man who never ever forgot his beloved Georgia with full hands of charitable deeds. I can easily say that he
and his wonderful wife have hardly spent a day of their life without flashing back to their much-loved native land. Here, I would like to introduce his great friend and colleague from Italy Professor Gianluigi Melotti whose outstanding efforts say much about the physical health of this nation.
He has visited Georgia many, many times on his professional surgical missions together with Plato Esartia, a.k.a. Sosso Esartia. As a matter of fact, it is a direct result of their longtime fruitful cooperation that Tbilisi today has a state of the art hospital which specializes in mini-invasive technological surgery. Doctor Melotti, a honorary professor at the Tbilisi State Medical University and a honorary member of the Georgian Academy of Science has already performed more than 1000 surgeries in Tbilisi, and all of them free of charge. He is a great master of laparoscopy – robotic surgery – and he has carried out this amazingly sophisticated medical procedure practically all over the world. Plato Esartia and Gianluigi Melotti have made it their sacred mission and noble aim to do this charitable work in Georgia where people truly need this kind of help. I got lucky the other day to encounter both of them together at the Tbilisi Marriott Hotel, and to have done this double interview as a result.
NBR – Why are you putting this much time and energy, and money too, into Georgia – all based on good will and, most importantly, free of compensation?
G.M. – Good question! I am personally doing this for a simple reason – I love this country and these people, and my philosophy of life is that ethical values and spiritual satisfaction are standing above any material compensation. On top of that, I am used to this idea of serving people free of any charge because healthcare in Italy, where I come from, is free. By the way, the famous American state medical project Obamacare is in principle almost a copy of our Italian medical system. So it is absolutely, sincerely, my pleasure to be working in Georgia without expecting any pecuniary remuneration. I started working here when Georgia was very poorly equipped in any medical sense, and it was practically impossible to operate here as a surgeon. My good friend and colleague Plato Esartia and I are still doing it nonstop. He will correct me if I am wrong.
P.E. – Our new hospital in Tbilisi is called International Center of Endo-surgery. It took us almost twenty years to put it together and have it in action as it is today. The currently occurring facts will corroborate what I am saying: last week, for instance, we performed twelve medical operations, including a very complicated pancreatic surgery. Yes, it was not easy indeed to have this clinic up and going, but the result is truly outstanding, which makes us both very cheerful and content.
NBR – Are you training any Georgian doctors to finally operate independently?
G.M. – We certainly are! This was one of our most significant goals – to share our medical knowledge and our worldwide surgical experience with local Georgian doctors so that they have enough readiness to stay in this country and operate accordingly. For example, the two young Georgian doctors Merab Kiladze and Davit Abuladze will happily confirm that they were trained personally by me. I am proud of them today and extremely humbled to recognize that my efforts will have a valuable effect in the long run in this wonderful country.
P.E. – I would like to emphasize in this context that the biggest achievement of ours is that our longstanding efforts, popularizing the mini-invasive technological surgery in this country and world over, have evolved into the recognition of the Georgian Endo-Surgical Society by the international scientific community. Georgia will, this coming September, host the annual congress of Mediterranean and Middle- Eastern Association of 32 countries.
NBR – And why is it so important for Georgia?
G.M. – The event is definitely going to play a very serious role in the development of this new surgical direction in particular and have a considerable influence on the process of internationalization of Georgia’s medical skill and endeavor in general.
P.E. – Moreover, based on the past medical experience and the number of qualified doctors in this country, we may stay assured that someday in the nearest future Georgia will have its solid say in this extremely interesting medical field, called laparoscopy – robotic surgery. Dr. Melotti and I had hoped twenty years ago that our vision would have a great prospect. I cannot even express in words how happy we both are that our dream has come true – the hospital is in place and it is successfully operating, and we both are very much functional there.
NBR – Isn’t this breathtaking? Many cheers now and good luck!

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