Discussion over the work of the Ministry of Health should be aimed at eradicating corruption from the healthcare system, instead of returning old schemes to the Ministry and the health sector. Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman said on opening a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday.
"Today there is a lot of talk surrounding the activities of the Ministry of Health. In these discussions, I have the utmost faith, we must find mutual understanding, which will make physicians feel their work is important while patients who go to hospitals see that the situation with provision in hospitals have improved, that the system has changed and it is friendly to patient, instead of trying through debate to return the Ministry of Health to the past, in which only corruption and greed reigned. As the Prime Minister of the country and person, I cannot tolerate it. I won’t tolerate returning old schemes into the health system", said the Head of Government.
The Prime Minister stressed that the new team of the Ministry of Health headed by the acting Minister Uliana Suprun is honest and uncorrupted. "It gives all of us a chance to take the system out of the situation in which it used to be traditionally", said the PM.
"If someone was fighting for the Ministry of Health, they fought not for the healthcare but for the control over flows of money in the health system: procurement of drugs through intermediary private companies in Ukraine, through the purchase of equipment from intermediary private companies, through mechanisms of distribution, what to give to whom and what not", he said.
As a result, the country lacks a high-quality system of prevention of diseases, while Ukrainians get sick more often and their lifespan is shorter than that of citizens of neighboring EU countries.
"The right policy in the health protection area, zero tolerance to corruption, will enable to lead the healthcare system out of the state of coma in which it has been for many years. Therefore, our essential objective is to overcome any corruption schemes in this sphere", stressed the Head of Government.
In this context, Volodymyr Groysman expressed his conviction that introduction by the previous Government in 2015 of the system of procurement of medicines through international organizations had been a completely justified and non-corrupt measure.
"The current challenge for us is to purchase medicines of higher quality and at lower cost, to increase their quantity and to deliver these to hospitals in order to help each Ukrainian citizen who needs treatment", he accentuated. If we leave the old corrupt system of procurement of drugs, 20-30% of the funds would be disseminated among corrupt officials and dealers who were involved into this pharmaceutical distribution matters, explained the Head of Government.
The Prime Minister called on everyone who concerns about the health care system to unite in order to achieve results in reforming this sector and overcoming corruption in it.
According to Volodymyr Groysman, those who criticize the Government’s activities possibly have good intentions. In this context, the Prime Minister urged the Ministry of Health to communicate with these people and find agreement regarding existing discrepancies.
He noted that the Government had set itself a number of objectives for 2017 in the field of medicine.
"I want to achieve in Ukraine fair drug prices. It is the task for the Ministry of Health. Second position: I want to ensure that from 1 April 2017, people with chronic illnesses, who need consistent support in medications, would get the needed medicine for free. We have planned such a resource, and this mechanism will be launched from 1 April 2017", said Volodymyr Groysman.
Apart from that, the sum worth UAH 150 million was budgeted for the establishment of centers of cardiovascular surgery across the country.
In the summer of 2017 there will be completed and opened a new building of the National Children's Hospital OKHMATDYT.
Among the targets for the current year is to ensure payment of salaries to medical workers that was upped by 30%, and open purchase of drugs from international organizations that gives the opportunity to buy drugs avoiding mediation from producers at fair prices.
In addition, Ukraine needs a system of national health insurance, assures the Prime Minister.
The Head of Government accentuated it is vital to move ahead focusing on the outlined directions of activities.