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Statement of NGOs Regarding the Unfair and Unethical Decree of the Health Ministry

January 20, 2011
All states are obliged to create and develop the health system oriented on quality, availability, and equality.

In light of this, the decree issued on December 7th of 2010 by the Health Ministry is inconsistent and inadmissible. According to the decree, pharmacies are obliged to install a video surveillance system for the inside and outside perimeters of the pharmacy area and ensure the global availability of it by the Ministry of Internal Affairs. 1227 authorized pharmacies operating in Tbilisi will be obliged to fulfill the corresponding request starting from February 1, 2011. It will be adopted in other territories of the state stage by stage.

If we consider that just in Tbilisi the investment value of the project is approximately 9 million GEL, this means that the money the pharmacy market locates for this project will reflect on the value of the medication.

We also think that installment of video surveillance systems in pharmacies violates the respect for privacy envisaged by article 20 of the Georgian Constitution and the obligations envisaged by article 8 of ECHR. It might also be in contradiction with the property right envisaged by article 1 of the first additional protocol of ECHR and article 21st of Georgian Constitution.

It should be noted that a measure restricting a concrete human  right should be adopted according to the law and it must absolutely be necessary to ensure a democratic society. Besides, there must be a balance between the private and public interests and the adopted measure proportional to the aimed purpose.

According to the European standards of human rights, the normative act restricting the concrete right must create legal clarity and be possible to anticipate. According to our consideration, the normative acts that impose obligation of video surveillance system installment do not satisfy these criteria since the disputable normative acts create obscure legal environment and puts both pharmacies and consumers in an uncertain situation.

The corresponding decree along with its unfairness is unethical too – the Health Ministry establishes the video surveillance on the communication between a health professional and a patient. This is an unprecedented case in international practice.

The Health Ministry should be fully responsible for the supposed increase of medication prices in pharmacy market that will be provoked by the corresponding decree.

Healthy World
Health Experts Club
Youth for Justice
Human Rights Center
Article 42 of Constitution
Georgian Young Lawyers Association
Human Rights Priority
Caucasus Network of Women
Regional Media Association
Justice and Liberty
Network for Constitutional Rights
The Research Center for Elections and Political Technologies
Coalition for Civil Development
Women with University Education
Youth Alternative
Caucasian Center of Public Diplomacy
Geopolitical International Research Center