The FINANCIAL — Bank of Georgia has financed the acquisition of the first GE Healthcare PET/ CT system in the South Caucasus region. This is positron emission tomography with computed tomography.
The PET/CT system was purchased by the High Technology Medical Center, University Clinic through the GE Healthcare office in Central Asia, with financing from Bank of Georgia. The installation of the scanner will begin in May 2012.
“Bank of Georgia has been financing healthcare systems for 2-3 years,” said Archil Gachechiladze, Deputy General Director of Bank of Georgia. “We have already achieved some good results in this direction as several high-tech clinics have already been opened in Georgia. This is the next step. Whereas patients previously had to go abroad to get the service, it will now be available in Georgia from May. This system is unique not just in Georgia, but in the Caucasus region and Central Asia.”
Until recently Georgian patients requiring a PET/CT scan had to travel abroad. The acquisition of PET/CT by the High Technology Medical Center, University Clinic will help patients save the time and money it would cost to travel abroad for such testing. The procedure provided in Georgia will be more affordable. This first PET/CT scanner will contribute to the improvement of access to healthcare in the country.
The scanner has crucial importance as the number of cancer cases is rising fast in Georgia. According to recent statistics 7,000 new cancer cases are registered each year in Georgia.
“This new system gives us the opportunity to detect diseases at the beginning stages,” said Darejan Lomidze, Head of Oncology at High Technology Medical Center, University Clinic. “As a result we can implement adequate treatment in time. The acquisition of the PET/CT means that a full package of oncology services, including diagnostics, treatment and evaluation of the outcomes of the treatment can be offered in the country.”
The PET/CT system provides an exclusive method of functional diagnostics that enables early detection of a tumour spreading. This is extremely important for deciding on the right course of treatment options. With the availability of the scanner, this will provide the opportunity for numerous patients in Georgia, as well as throughout the Caucasus, to be accurately diagnosed and treated.
A PET/CT scan is a combination of a positron emission tomography (PET) and a computed tomography (CT) scan. The combination of the two scans is highly efficient in detecting tumours that may possibly not show up on a standard X-ray, or on a CT or PET scan alone. While a CT scan shows detailed anatomical structure, a PET scan gives the healthcare team information on organ functionality and metabolism. During the PET/CT scan, the patient lies on a table and the part of the body that is to be scanned is positioned in the middle of a ring-shaped scanner. With recent technological advances, it generally takes less than twenty minutes to perform the scan. The patient is given a radioactive tracer as part of the exam.
Bank of Georgia is the leading Georgian bank based on total assets (with a 35.6% market share), total loans (with a 34.5% market share) and client deposits (with a 35.6% market share) as of 31 December 2011, all data based on standalone financial information filed by banks in Georgia with the National Bank of Georgia. The Bank offers a broad range of corporate banking, retail banking, wealth management, brokerage and insurance services to its clients.