A community in Kherson region shares its best practices in using decentralization opportunities to improve healthcare services, education, and milk production in the area.
Kochubeyivska amalgamated territorial community of the Kherson region chose saving human lives as its priority in the development strategy. The aim comes as a result of the constantly declining birth rate within the community. To improve the situation the community focused its efforts on healthcare – they established a primary healthcare center in Kochubeivka and were among the first to get licensed to provide healthcare services. The community even provides emergency medical services as well as has catastrophe medicine that represents tertiary healthcare. It was presented by the Head of the community Ihor Dudar at a press-briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center (UCMC) in the framework of UCMC’s project “Community spokespersons”. “We have not invented anything new. Our community was formed historically. We used to also live as a community before. […] We used to have a maternity clinic of our own where children were born. We are now anxious to restore it,” Dudar said.
Nevertheless, decentralization has not been supported by everyone, some have even started impeding the new developments. Kochubeyivska amalgamated territorial community had to refuse the services offered by its district – Vysokopilsky, and use instead secondary healthcare services of the neighboring Velykooleksandrivsky district. “It’s political. When we started relocating healthcare services [to our community] our district-level hospital refused servicing our people saying: ‘you have your own community, get treated there’. Following detailed work we decided to opt for another hospital, people deserve respect,” explained the Head of the Kochubeyivska amalgamated territorial community.
The primary healthcare center within the community has been already connected to the e-healthcare system. Patients’ personal data is being gradually introduced into it. “It comes as a breakthrough in the patient-doctor relations. One may thus see if there is a queue for admission, which medicines are available from the hospital and which ones from the pharmacy and at what price. One may also track the ambulance car,” Dudar explained.
Other strategic directions
The community has established the Kochubeyivsky educational district. The community’s hub school is located in Orlove village, not in Kochubeyivka. “I would like to emphasize that the educational complex is not located centrally, in Kochubeyivka. It happened this way as the [hub school] is a quality educational establishment,” said Ihor Dudar. Community’s development strategy also foresees the setup of public utilities to supply energy from alternative sources. “We have already purchased equipment. We will be producing pellets. Before bushes were simply cut and burnt. We are now trying to cut them in chips and use them to heat some facilities. Moreover we have saved money as we did not use gas,” the Head of the community said. The community also plans to construct a cooperative to collect milk. The main target is for the people to stop selling milk cheap to later buy it in shops five times more expensive. “We want to secure an opportunity for those who grow cows and produce milk to be able to sell it at a decent price. People are selling it cheap, while those who are collecting and reselling it are even not locals. We want to open a collection point, where milk will be also cooled and pasteurized to then produce milk products within our community,” Dudar explained.