2. Ensuring sufficient physical infrastructure and workforce capacity
ENSURING SUFFICIENT PHYSICAL INFRASTRUCTURE AND WORKFORCE CAPACITY is crucial for dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak, as there may be both a surge in demand and a decreased availability of health workers. The section considers the physical infrastructure available in a country and where there are shortages, it describes any measures being implemented or planned to address them. It also considers the health workforce, including what countries are doing to maintain or enhance capacity, the responsibilities and skill-mix of the workforce, and any initiatives to train or otherwise support health workers.
2.1 Physical infrastructure
Georgia has a large hospital capacity which is distributed across the country, although most of the facilities are privately owned. more than 85 percent of health facilities are privately owned. The Government has therefore decided to leverage the capacity of the private facilities while at the same time strengthening the public facilities to fill critical gaps. To date, 8 hospitals around the country accept patients with COVID-19. As part of the strategy to expand hospital capacity as need arises, a list of 33 designated centres has also been drawn up so capacity could gradually increase in line with demand. The total bed capacity is 3744 including ICU, ER, and isolation rooms. ICU capacity with ventilators in these hospitals is 528, oxygen could be provided to up to 3000 beds. There are also 37 “fever clinics” mobilized across the country (to be activated at certain stages, depending on increasing needs) and there is a fleet of specially equipped ambulances which are part of the standard pandemic response capacity. Telephone consultations are also provided via 112 in coordination with the emergency services. Infection control conditions in the 8 designated COVID-19 hospitals have been assessed by WHO and assessment of fever clinics is ongoing. Surge expert support for hospital readiness has been made available. There are no shortages currently and plans are in place to meet any surge in demand.