Zelensky calls for comprehensive approach to social services for care of elderly
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky said that he expects systemic proposals to resolve the situation with a fire in a private nursing home in Kharkiv, which killed 15 people, as well as to prevent such situations. The president also insists that the perpetrators of the incident should be punished.
"When 15 people die, in addition to systemic problems, there are always those responsible," Zelensky said at a meeting on mechanisms for preventing such emergencies, which took place as part of the president's working trip to Kharkiv, the presidential press service said.
Minister for Development of Communities and Territories Oleksiy Chernyshov said that according to the data of the government commission, there are no data on the institution in the department of social protection.
"For facilities with the elderly and persons with disabilities, the law establishes clear criteria and requirements for operating. In this regard, as part of the work of the government commission, the Ministry of Social Policy will identify facilities that are not listed in the register of social service providers," Chernyshov said.
Law enforcers, in turn, said that after the fire in Kharkiv and Kharkiv region, some 32 more facilities were identified that worked illegally. There are 72 drug addicts and 218 elderly people in need of care. At the same time, according to representatives of the department of social protection of the population, municipal institutions can provide 136 vacant places.
Chief of the National Police Ihor Klymenko said that as a result of yesterday's government meeting, law enforcement agencies and local authorities were tasked to check the activities of such facilities and complaints about them.
Zelensky, in turn, said it is important not to understand the legality of facilities, but first of all to understand whether they can provide adequate care for the elderly and what to do with such people if the facility is operating illegally or cannot guarantee safety and proper care.
"It is necessary that we find all objects throughout the country, supervise, and that we do not close any of the objects until we find a way out. It is imperative to create a register and a website with all such institutions so that everyone can see all the necessary information about institutions of care for the elderly, rehabilitation institutions," the president said.
He said Kharkiv should become an example of all the best practices, how to enter a facility, what to do with it, where to send people, how it should be recorded, where and at what sites information should be submitted about it.
"Where do you schedule people if they return to their families, what happens to them, who finances them, what social benefits they receive. That is, their social, financial, medical support, in which hospitals and who looks after them. What happens to such objects that we find from the point of view of the law enforcement system. And in parallel, the development of legislative initiatives that will operate throughout Ukraine, especially on this reform: so that cities, their mayors, heads of regional state administrations, so that everyone is interested in solving this problem. So that cities and regions have the opportunity to provide such services of a high, high-quality level," Zelensky said.
For his part, Head of the President's Office Andriy Yermak raised the issue of checking the fire-prevention systems of all facilitites where socially vulnerable categories of citizens may be located, including institutions for the elderly, kindergartens and the like.