11:48 14.06.2016

Healthcare reform in Ukraine should be systemic - healthcare workers

3 min read

KYIV. June 14 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Representatives of some nongovernmental organizations in the healthcare sphere have said that consequent and systemic steps in reforming the healthcare system are required.

"A single healthcare concept has not been drawn up in the past year. All proposed reforms do not meet the articles of the Constitution and Ukrainian legislation," Chair of Kyiv City Trade Union of Health Workers Larysa Kanarovska said at a press conference at Interfax-Ukraine on Monday.

She said that no reform program pays attention to the financing system, how the money will be earmarked and what money hospitals will receive.

She said that Kyiv City Trade Union of Health Workers expects that Health Ministry will publish information about spending the money allocated by various international organizations, including for healthcare reforms.

"We insist on publishing all figures of the budgets, Health Ministry and our department [the healthcare department of Kyiv City Administration]. Since early 2016 we have been ringing the alarm bell and asked the Health Ministry to say where this money, tranches from the WHO, international organizations have gone. We have not seen and heard in two years where this money went. We asked: stop the minister, let him report where the money of international organizations sent to improve public health. We have only one formal reply from Health Ministry - that a check will be scheduled and conducted for funds received in 2014, 2015 and early 2016," she said.

Kanarovska said that staff issues are important for the healthcare system. She said that Kyiv has a serious staff problem.

"Staff policy in Kyiv is difficult. We have mostly pensioners in emergency medical service. We lack 500 primary care physicians, 100 roentgenologists and 100 infection disease doctors. Primary health brigades go on emergency calls and this means that we fall short of 200 doctors. Young people do not want to work for such low salaries. We have 200 people of 80 plus age working in the city. Soon we would be left without doctors and nurses

She pointed out the problems with provision of modern medical equipment to intensive care hospitals the creation of which was declared by Kyiv City Administration. There are problems with payment of utilities fees by medical institutions due to the increase of utilities tariffs.

Kanarovska said that the utility service debt in one healthcare institution is around UAH 150,000-170,000. If it is declared insolvent, someone with deep pockets could arrive and take over hospital.

Deputy Chair of Kyiv City Trade Union of Health Workers Serhiy Kubansky said that healthcare reforms are conducted without broad public discussion.

"As in 2011 the healthcare reform was implanted from above, the same happens today. The state sidesteps its responsibility," he said.

Head of the Health Department of Dniprovsky district of Kyiv Daniel Karabayev said that bills on reformation of the healthcare system registered in parliament should be passed as quickly as possible.

"We are waiting for the adoption of the bill on doctor self-governance which authorizes doctors to influence state policy in the healthcare sphere. We hope that the bill on medical insurance will be passed and lay the foundation for changes next year," he said.