During A Question Time for the Government, the Prime Minister of Ukraine informed the MPs about the measures taken to overcome the spread of the pandemic, the financial support for certain categories of the population in the context of the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemics as well as the situation in the healthcare and energy domains.
As the Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal told while addressing VR members from the rostrum of the Parliament on Wednesday, May 13, due to the timely introduction of quarantine, the country had avoided a huge burden on the medical system. The Head of Government reminded that the first stage of easing quarantine restrictions had begun on May 11.
"Currently we are working on developing further steps to relax quarantine restrictions and transfer to an adaptive model. After May 22, the quarantine will be extended, but with gradual easing. More and more powers will be devolved to the local levels to localize the disease in the areas where it occurs," explained Denys Shmyhal.
Moreover, the PM accentuated that the issue of 300% surcharge for doctors working with patients with COVID-19 is under the personal control of both the President of Ukraine and him as the Prime Minister: "A UAH 905 million subvention for the payment of 300% in March have been obtained by the regions. I promise that we will pay to the full extent all the money promised to the doctors. Last week, I commissioned the Minister of Health Maxym Stepanov to report on each region and each hospital, which should ensure the payment of 300% surcharges. Today, the Government must hear this report."
Denys Shmyhal also provided the data about the expenditures from the COVID-19 Response Fund in the amount of UAH 65 billion. Among the main items of expenditure are as follows:
UAH 29.7 billion has been additionally allocated to the Pension Fund this year;
UAH 6 billion was transferred to the funds engaged in helping the unemployed;
UAH 1.6 billion is aimed to provide assistance for families with children if the parents are individual entrepreneurs;
UAH 2 billion was directed for medical purchases for hospitals;
UAH 3.1 billion was allocated by the Ministry of Health for additional procurements for hospitals and salaries for doctors.
Answering questions about restrictions on travel abroad for Ukrainian seasonal workers, Denys Shmyhal stressed that there is no ban on labor migration, only general quarantine restrictions: "Currently, negotiations are underway with European governments to arrange on the following: if our nationals are invited for seasonal work, then it should be official registration, it should be medical guarantees, guarantees of return. These should be decent working and living conditions. For the first time, we have the opportunity to have a dialogue on even terms in order to protect the interests of our people in European countries."
Meanwhile, it is critical to ensure the travel of Ukrainians abroad not to turn into a two-weeks "tourism": "We did not keep the country on quarantine for two months to let now expose everyone to danger."
Apart from that, during A Question Time, the Prime Minister said that the unemployment rate had increased through the coronavirus crisis. According to him, to date, almost 200,000 such citizens have been officially registered.
"The Government's objective now is not only to preserve jobs but also to create new. The Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Agriculture should present a program on creating new jobs," said the Prime Minister.
In addition, Denys Shmyhal thanked MPs for supporting the decisions of the Anti-Crisis Energy Headquarters, which will help overcome the energy crisis: "I consider it being a good example of a team work of authorities. The measures proposed and supported by the MPs will allow us to balance the energy sector, taking into account the interests of both the consumers and the entrepreneurs. "The Head of Government also stressed that the price of electricity for domestic consumers this year remains unchanged at UAH 1.68 per kilowatt.
"The proposed changes will allow avoiding rolling blackouts. Moreover, we will ensure nuclear power generation, provide work for Ukrainian miners and all power engineers," noted the Prime Minister.