The newly elected Public Council of the Ministry of Healthcare of Ukraine includes representatives of 35 NGOs. The electronic voting was attended by nearly 15,000 people. It was the first electronic election to the Public Council of the Ministry of Healthcare. Experts of the NGO “Electronic Democracy” developed the software for electronic elections and observed the voting process. “If you compare with the usual formation of public councils, when 100-200 NGOs gather in one room and a maximum of 150-200 people vote, here the result is 100 times bigger,” said Volodymyr Flionts, head of the NGO “Electronic Democracy”, at the presentation of the results of voting monitoring at a press briefing held at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.
Google Analytics data show that all regions, both regional centers and small towns, participated in the voting, five to twenty cities in each region. There were several votes from Crimea. The dynamics of voting for individual candidates was quite proportionate. Most votes came during the day, and less – at night. In case of interference, according to experts, the graph would show a “cardiogram” with spikes and downs. Only one burst of voting activity was noticed at midday. “We examined it and confirmed that it was not related to any artificial interference and twisting votes. It was a technical failure of a telecom operator that slightly delayed the delivery of SMS messages,” noted Volodymyr Flionts. Most people, who monitored the election and voted, belong to Facebook community, because the media paid very little attention to the topic and people outside the social networks had no information.
“Instead of small groups and centers of influence related to them, we are finally starting to create true public councils to represent the interests of hundreds and thousands of people in Ukraine – through transparent mechanisms that we can study, check and be sure that members of the public council are real people and we will know whose interests they will communicate through the public council,” concluded Volodymyr Flionts. Lesia Litvinova, member of the initiative group, Charity Foundation “SVOI,” noted that the electronic voting made it possible to involve those who might otherwise have not filed their candidacy. “These are people who really do very much, but knowing the system they did not even try to participate and would continue to work in their small segment. These are people who are working ‘in the field’, within the scope of their competence, i.e., rehabilitation of ATO veterans, oncology patients, palliative care, etc.,” she detailed.
Ulana Suprun, Acting Minister of Healthcare of Ukraine, expressed hope for fruitful cooperation with the newly elected Public Council. It is useful for the Ministry, because public organizations mediate between the patients and the Ministry of Healthcare. They can point to real problems and suggest best practices from their own experience. “I see very good prospects for cooperation with public councils. If they cooperate and give us advice through their working groups and committees, we will follow their advice,” noted Ulana Suprun. “Our basic principles are openness and transparency. These principles are decisive in the work of the Ministry’s team. We are open to constructive cooperation with NGOs, medical and patient organizations,” she added.
In the coming days there will be the first meeting of members of the new Public Council, at which they will get acquainted with each other, identify priorities and divide into committees. “We hope that we will fruitfully cooperate with the Ministry and become a link between society and the Ministry,” added Lesia Litvinova.