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Deputies promise to see the medical reform before the summer

 

Before the summer break of the MPs Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine should vote for the adoption of a package of health reform bills. Sergey Berezenko, Deputy head of the Petro Poroshenko faction, during a press briefing promised that the appropriate voting will take place before the summer holidays.

It is expected that a second vote on inclusion of bills in the agenda of the current session of Parliament will be held on June 6.

What the Parliamentarians will vote for

Ministry of Health of Ukraine, together with a team of experts with the support from the World Health Organization (WHO) over a year and a half has developed a new model of health care financing in Ukraine. Under the new model doctors and hospitals will be paid for services provided to patients, rather than for beds and walls. This model, as developers assure, meets international standards and is the same model as in Poland, Canada and the UK.

Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine registered in the Parliament bills on government financial guarantees for the provision of medical services: № 6327, 6328, 6329, 6347.

What this reform envisages

  • Under the reform, every penny of collected taxes should be spent for specific services provided to patients. That is the principle “money follow the patient”.
  • Reform defines a basic package of services that will be free for each patient and will be covered entirely by the state. These include family medicine, emergency and palliative care. There will also be a list of services that the state will pay for partially, and a list of services which will be fully paid by a patient (eg, aesthetic medicine). These standards will be uniform across the country.
  • Hospitals will receive a high level of autonomy, doctors will be able to provide a treatment and receive official payments for each patient in accordance with standard rates.
  • The reform envisages the development of family medicine. International treatment protocols will be implemented, the prevention and mortality reduction programs for major diseases will be developed, direct payments for treatment of Ukrainians will be deployed, quality pregnancy, childbirth and antenatal care will be ensured.
  • The goal of the reform is to increase life expectancy, birth rate and improve health of everyone.

The bills number 6327, 6328, 6329, 6347 fundamentally change the health system in Ukraine and make health and medical services equally accessible to all: treatment under international protocols and with the desired physician or medical institution. For the first time Ukraine will apply the model of health insurance when the funds allocated from the budget is not paid to hospitals but paid for services actually provided to a patient. We are expecting that on June 6 MPs will vote for inclusion of bills into the agenda and before the beginning of summer vacation – for their adoption,”- Ulyana Suprun Acting Minister of Health of Ukraine

Why is this important

According to the World Health Organization, every year in Ukraine:

  • at least 136,000 citizens whose lives could be saved die.
  • Almost 4,000 Ukrainian die from tuberculosis – the disease that the world has long been effectively treating.
  • Almost 1,200 children who could be saved are dying in childbirth or in the first year of life.
  • More than 7,000 Ukrainians die each year from infectious diseases, of which the world has long forgotten and which could have been prevented if the health care system in Ukraine worked at European level.

What public and international experts say

“Public sector for the first time since independence of Ukraine fully supports the team of the Ministry of Health on this issue – says Olga Stefanyshyna, executive director of the Foundation “Patients of Ukraine.” – Let’s recognize that we don’t have free medicine. We are ready to understand what services the state pays for, and for which the patient where he pays extra for these services, and most importantly – to whom? We call for every parliamentarian to say goodbye to the Soviet Union in medicine and to support government bills.” 

“In Ukraine, more people die than are born. Each day of delay of healthcare reform kills 1,600 Ukrainians! – said Dmitry Sherembey, head of the largest patient organization All-Ukrainian Network of PLWH. – For comparison, our neighbors -Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia – 25 years ago, we had the same mortality rates. After accession to the EU within the following 25 years the mortality  fell by 30%. Not here in Ukraine. This can not continue the way it used to be. We must change it.”

“Today, 99% of patients have to pay fully or partially for their treatment, buy medicines and supplies, pay to the medical staff, whose work is financially undervalued. The state funds are allocated to the ineffective medical institutions, used for inefficient methods, and the state aid does not reach its final beneficiary – the patient – says Irina Litovchenko, co-founder of the ICF “Tabletochky.” – With a newly developed law we can redirect funds of the country where the patient is treated. Well close unprofitable hospitals. Doctors will get a decent salary, and patients – an adequate level of treatment according to international protocols”

Medical reform in Ukraine was supported by ambassadors of the Great Seven” (G7). They issued a statement in support of health care reform in Ukraine. It states that the adoption of the reform plan, which determines the state guarantees for the financing of insured medical services and drugs through the National Health Service of Ukraine is a sign that Ukraine is ready and must move forward on the path of reforms in healthcare and the fight against corruption in the interests of its citizens.

According to the ambassadors, the ministry and all involved in reforms Ukrainian institutions will receive full support in this important matter.

Head of EU Delegation to Ukraine Hugues Mingarelli said that the European Union fully supports the health reform that offers a team of Ulyana Suprun. He stressed that the Ukrainian health system collapsed and vulnerable groups who are unable to pay for care in private clinics are the first in need of reform.

On May 18 when the Parliament did not include bills number 6327, 6328, 6329, 6347 in the agenda, World Bank expressed concern that due to the late approval of bills, health care reform in Ukraine will not be implemented.

International partners and patients community in Ukraine hope that on June 6 a parliamentary majority will vote for inclusion of bills number 6327, 6328, 6329, 6347 in the agenda.

To find more details concerning the bills follow the link:

  1. Bill # 6327 “On the state financial guarantees of medical services and medicines” (https://goo.gl/1biYpD)
  2. Bill # 6328 “On additional state financial guarantees of medical services and medicines to persons who defend the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity in counter-terrorist operations and ensure its implementation” (https://goo.gl/L7hQi7)
  3. Bill # 6329 “On Amendments to the Budget Code of Ukraine” (https://goo.gl/M6lVQf)
  4. Bill # 6347 “On Amendments to Article 2 of the Law of Ukraine” On public procurement” (https://goo.gl/zvUJpj)

 

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