Kyiv
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Patients send “life packages” to President, Prime Minister, Speaker of Parliament and MPs as a request to support healthcare reform

Kyiv, May 15, 2017.

Patient organizations are to send “life packages” to President, Prime Minister, Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada, and MPs to support the bills necessary for launching the healthcare reform. “The Ministry of Health has developed and the Cabinet supported the four bills that are currently registered in the Verkhovna Rada – №6327 6328, 6329, and 6347. These four bills will eventually let Ukraine move from the Soviet model to European medicine. This system will allow doctors to receive decent salaries and treat patients according to European protocols. […] We want a healthcare reform, and today all Ukrainians should unite to ensure that these bills are voted soon. If they are not voted until the summer, we will lose an opportunity to conduct a reform for the next 5 years. We urge the President and all MPs to support these bills,” stated Olha Stephanyshyna, executive director of the charity foundation “Patients of Ukraine”, at a press briefing held at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.

According to the study of CF “Patients of Ukraine”, 97% of the patients currently pay for medicines out of their own pocket. Daria Nastenko, who is pregnant with a second child, shared her experience that now patients have to pay for everything and to everyone in hospitals – “from doctors to nurses who wipe the floor.” According to her, the state must pay for childbirth in full, and if you need to pay for some special comfort, it should be an adequate amount and a single tariff for all, regardless of whether a woman gives birth in Kyiv or in the regions. “I ask the President to support these bills because they can affect the future of our children and our country,” she urged.

The activist patients will march to the APU, the Cabinet and the Parliament to give the authorities their packages. Volodymyr Groisman will receive a package with words of gratitude: according to Olha Stephanyshyna, the Cabinet has taken all necessary steps, and now it is the turn of deputies and the President.

“For many patients, these bills mean a ticket to the future. […] Every MP on receiving this package must answer the letter it includes. They have to answer to people who depend on certain medicines and technologies how they will vote for these laws. We understand what is happening in the Parliament and that there is always some bargaining. But life is not negotiable; life is not something to bargain between political parties. These bills are not attainments of a party, but each of us and those whose lives depend on this law. We hope that this appeal will affect the views of each of them,” stated Dmytro Sherembei, chairman of the Coordination Council of all-Ukrainian Network of People with HIV.

After the campaign the activists will create a ranking list of MPs who promised to support the bills or ignored the request. “We will closely monitor how each deputy of each party vote, who wants a healthcare reform, and who does not,” said Olha Stephanyshyna. Today the coordination board is to decide on putting the bills on the agenda. After that the bills are to be considered by the relevant Parliament committee.

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