Opinion poll: how the citizens of Ukraine see healthcare services with overview of drugs prices in different regions of the country and allows seeing who the population believes should improve this sector.
The level of satisfaction with general practitioners’ work in various regions of Ukraine is markedly different: the highest – in Mykolayiv (83%), Chernihiv (83%) and Ternopil (84%) regions, the lowest – in Kirovohrad region (47% of satisfied). This is “Health Index. Ukraine” research data, which was presented at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. The “Health Index. Ukraine” project was launched by Renaissance International Foundation, Kyiv International Institute of Sociology and School of Public Health at National University of “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy” for the annual determination of the actual level of Ukrainian citizens’ satisfaction with medical assistance.
Concerning inpatient care, the most satisfied respondents live in Ternopil (76%) and Mykolayiv (76%) regions, the least satisfied are residents of Kirovohrad region (29%). Low levels of satisfaction are observed in Kyiv (40%), Ivano-Frankivsk (43%), and Sumy (45%) regions. “Satisfaction with healthcare is a subjective assessment, but it is extremely valuable for feedback while implementing reforms and for spreading good practices of reform in the regions,” commented Tetyana Stepurko, director of Master’s program “Management in the Healthcare” at the National University “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy”.
Citizens’ medical expenses are another factor to assess the functioning of the healthcare sector. On average, doctors prescribed four medicines to an outpatient. Only 2% of respondents received a compensation for them from insurance companies, 1% – from health insurance funds and 2% – from the state. The average cost of purchased medicines was UAH 822 (the lowest in Zhytomyr oblast – UAH 238, the highest in Rivne region – UAH 1,001).
An average of six medicines was prescribed to inpatients. Only 17% of those who were prescribed medication in hospital got at least part of drugs free; 83% of respondents had to buy all the prescribed drugs themselves. The average size of total spending on drugs (purchased in hospital or bought in the pharmacy by patients themselves) in case of hospitalization amounted to UAH 2,892.
Most respondents answered the question “Who does the improvement of the functioning of medical facilities largely depend on?” as follows (multiple answers): President – 37%, Prime Minister – 38%, Health Minister – 74%, regional administration head – 10%, mayor of your town or village head – 15%, head of district administration – 8%, chief doctor (head) of health institution – 47%, doctors – 18%.
“Assessment and experience of a citizen who is a potential or actual customer of healthcare services are the key factors for reforming the system that focuses on the needs of people. Research will continue in the coming years and will measure improvements of healthcare services in the regions and in Ukraine. Thus we will see how assessments of people are changing in each region, depending on how the reform is implemented,” stressed Victoria Tymoshevska, director of Program initiative “Public Health”, Renaissance International Foundation.
“Of particular value will be the index data over time, after we obtain the results of the next year. The difference in index data for each region will show us the consequences of management decisions of the regional healthcare managers at the local level,” believes Oksana Syvak, Deputy Minister of Healthcare of Ukraine.
“Health Index. Ukraine” is a tool that will help healthcare managers and those shaping policy at the national level as well as in the regions, districts, and cities to assess the reform impact on patients and community. On the other hand, public organizations and active citizens will receive arguments in a dialogue with the authorities for a change for the better.
The research of healthcare status of the population of Ukraine and its satisfaction with healthcare services was conducted by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology in cooperation with the foundation “Social Indicators” and with the support of the Renaissance International Foundation from August 2015 to August 2016. The field research stage lasted from May 16 to June 30, 2016.
The research was based on a random representative sample of adult people (aged 18 and older) of Ukraine as a whole and each of the 24 regions of Ukraine and Kyiv. In Donetsk and Luhansk regions the research covered only the territory controlled by the Government of Ukraine. As a result of the fieldwork, 10,224 questionnaires were collected, and at least 400 respondents in each region were surveyed. The questionnaire was approved by the international scientific research council established for the project. From March 31 to April 5, 2016, the questionnaire was pretested by surveying 24 respondents in Kyiv and in several towns and villages of Kyiv region.