The FINANCIAL — “MediClubGeorgia (MCG), supported by its American partners is planning to operate the first American clinic in the region, with the Joint Commission International (JCI) accreditation which means American Accreditation for International Hospitals,” Maia Lagvilava, Chief Executive Director of MCG, told The FINANCIAL.
MediClubGeorgia, one of the leading medical centres in Georgia, will be celebrating its 10 years anniversary in the August, 2009. For MediClubGeorgia, this is not just a round date; this also is the year of the opening of the first multifunctional American clinic in the region.
“MediClubGeorgia (MCG), supported by its American partners is planning to operate the first American clinic in the region, with the Joint Commission International (JCI) accreditation which means American Accreditation for International Hospitals,” Maia Lagvilava, Chief Executive Director of MCG, told The FINANCIAL.
In her interview with The FINANCIAL Maia Lagvilava says that many changes have occurred over the last decade in MCG, but their main value of keeping patients healthy and satisfied remains the same. The CEO reviews the present conditions of MCG and speaks about the future plans of the medical centre.
“First established in April 1999, MCG remains committed to the continuous improvement of all aspects of health care provision. The company began operations with only 10 employees and the only corporate client: British Petroleum. Since then, many things have changed for the better: the number of employees reaches 180; number of patients served – 30,000. Site operations have been expanded via opening of site clinics: in 2001 MCG Poti clinic and in 2002 MCG Batumi clinic.
The services have been expanded – from GP and limited outpatient and inpatient services to a whole range of medical activities. The main portfolio of medical services was introduced in 1999 with the exception of the medical laboratory services that were introduced in 2004; Learning Resource Centre in 2005; Paediatric department in 2006; Cardiology department in 2007; Surgical department in 2008; and finally, in autumn 2009, MCG will be providing medical services from its newstate of the art clinic in the capital, Tbilisi.
Q. What kind of medical service do you offer to your patients at this time?
A. We currently provide a full range of outpatient services, including GP services, Cardiology, Paediatrics, Gynaecology, Emergency & Ambulance services, Laboratory and Diagnostic services, Rehabilitation and we have nationally acclaimed consultants in various subspecialties: Neurology, Neurosurgery, ENT, Dermatology, Infectious Diseases, Traumatology, Endocrinology, Reproductive health and other specialties.
Besides the outpatient services, we provide full capacity inpatient services in our modern patient rooms designed and equipped in accordance with western standards. We currently have 2 operating theatres that enable us to provide a broad range of traditional and minimally invasive surgical treatment options to patients using the latest techniques and technology.
Our emergency services are of particular specialization. Our ER doctors are trained to respond to emergencies in remote locations and extreme situations. We provide in-country medical evacuation services and also arrange international evacuation. Our contracts with leading international hospitals allow us to plan and execute international evacuations timely and in a smooth manner.
Q. How unique is MediClubGeorgia and how does it differ from all other medical centres existing in Georgia?
A. At MediClubGeorgia we believe in continuity of patient care. We make sure that each patient gets exclusive, individualized high quality service from the point of first contact with us, through to the end of treatment and follow up period.
To ensure the continuity of care and create maximum comfort for our patients, we arrange an entire care plan. Once a patient makes an appointment with us, there is no need for the patient to go from one place to another for various tests. Patients get all the services required at MCG premises, and for additional services that we don’t render, we provide transportation of the patient to specific treatment destinations.
Q. What is the key of attracting and retaining corporate clients??
A. For each corporate client we designate a coordinator that plans and coordinates all cases of the contractor company including emergency response plans, topside medical cover, patient education, seasonal illnesses and diseases, health and safety programmes. Just like with individual patients, corporate clients get a full range of medical services that are planned to every detail. In addition, we offer occupational health services to our corporate clients, assess work related risks and help them plan their activities to minimize the health risks to employees. We also provide catering and water hygiene assessment, industrial hygiene assessment. We help the corporate clients purchase company specific first aid kits and provide appropriate first aid trainings.
Our corporate clients are British Petroleum (BP), European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM), EUSR South Caucasus Border Support Team Tbilisi (EUSRS), Seacor environmental services, AOQC Moody International and many more other international organizations and embassies.
Q. Most of your clients are foreigners, , what makes them put their trust in MediClubGeorgia?
A. Healthcare infrastructure is exceptionally developed in western countries. The representatives of these nations know exactly how they should be treated in private clinics. That is why they appreciate the way we take care of them promptly and effectively.
Q. Among MediClubGeorgia’s corporate clients there are international organizations that operate in so called hazardous areas. How risky can it get for your employees?
A. Medicine is one of those fields where anything is possible and you have to be ready for the worst. Our 10 year experience in working with contractors that lead their activities in remote locations and hazard zones has taken the concept of being ready for the worst to a higher level and enabled us to become exclusive healthcare providers in remote locations. All our doctors have specific trainings to deal with risks associated with working in high risk zones and plan and execute their actions in a highly organized ways. The risks are always there, but our staff is unique in a way of knowing how to react to the unexpected. Being in healthcare business assumes saving lives. What makes our doctors special is their commitment and ability of saving lives in the most remote and high risk areas.
Q. What can you tell us about MediClubClinic’s medical equipment?
A. Since its inception MediClubGeorgia had a vision for the future and innovation. The company has stayed true to its vision over the years and developed its strategy to employ only the best doctors that share the same outlook for excellence, and equip the clinic with the best equipment from a provider that shares the same vision for innovation to keep up with the advances in medical technology to provide the best possible care for the patients we serve.
The new MCG Medical Clinic is fully equipped with the medical equipment from world leading provider Siemens. The equipment is hand-picked and installed by the Siemens team and they are responsible for periodical quality checks and calibration of the equipment. Dealing with one provider goes along with our concept of continuity of care and excludes any faults and errors in technology that might arise.
Our on-staff team of biomedical engineers ensures the equipment is running smoothly. The team is in constant touch with representative from Siemens to keep up to par with recent advances in the field of medical equipment and developing technologies.
Q. As we are aware, MediClubGeorgia has a sister clinic in Azerbaijan. Tell us some details of its development.
A. MediClub was the first private medical company in Azerbaijan that was established in 1998 a year before MediClubGeorgia’s establishment. MediClub is one of the leading companies in Azerbaijan today with a wide network of site clinics along the territory of Azerbaijan.
In 1999 MediClub registered 1,000 referred patients and signed the first long term contract with an oil company consortium; in October of 1999 MediClub’s fully functional branch was opened in Ganja; in March 2003 the founder of MediClub became the best businessman of the year in Azerbaijan; in July 2003 – MediClub in alliance with A- Group insurance company successfully passed international audit; November 2004 – accreditation of laboratory on water investigation by LabCred (UK); February 2005 – establishment of Sumgait clinic; April 2005 – successful certification of quality management and health and safety system on universal international standards ISO 9001 and OHSAS 18001 on UKAS accreditation; 2006 expansion of services and opening of a 15 bed paediatric clinic.
Q. With which international medical institutions does MediClubGeorgia have partnership?
A. Since 1999 MCG has been a member of the World Association of Disaster and Emergency Medicine (WADEM); from 2001 a member of the European Association of Travel Medicine; from 2003 a member of AmCham (American Chamber of Commerce) Georgia; from 2006 a member of the UN Global Compact; from 2007 became a training centre for American Heart Association (AHA); Partner of AIHA (American International Health Alliance); from 2008 partner of Moses Taylor Hospital (Scranton, PA, USA); partner of University of Scranton (Scranton, PA, USA); Partner of Capita Health Solutions (Aberdeen, UK) and other western and American associations and institutions.
Q. What are MediClubGeorgia’s future plans?
A. As of autumn 2009 MCG envisions medical services for its clients to be provided from its new location. As the leader in providing comprehensive medical services, we have developed the expertise that will allow us to continue delivering high quality and in fact groundbreaking medical services, from our upcoming state of the art (8,000 m2) medical facility.
From its new premises, with our American partners’ support MCG is planning to operate the first American clinic in the region, with the Joint Commission International (JCI) accreditation which means American Accreditation for International Hospitals. Along with opening the new multifunctional clinic on Tashkenti Street, MediClubGeorgia plans to launch a new project of Family Medical Centres under which small ambulatory units will be built around the city.
Written By Tako Khelaia