Aleksander Kvitashvili: Medical reform needs to start as soon as possible  



Kyiv, July 21, 2015. Ukraine’s Minister of Healthcare, MPs, representatives of civil society and professional community took part in a press-briefing on medical institution reform held at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.

Event participants called on Ukraine’s MPs to approve the new draft law as soon as possible to kick start medical reform in the county. Politicking needs to be forgetten, barriers to reform need to be removed, and cooperation on the law is of utmost importance, said Minister of Healthcare of Ukraine Alexander Kvitashvili. He called on the authors of the alternative draft law on medical institution reform to work together: “The system needs to be reformed in order to move away from the financing of hospital beds, to the financing of services. Calculations need to be made so that the state is able to adequately supply medical services to the people. I went through the so-called alternative draft law registered in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. It is not alternative at all – the text is 95% similar to the old one. I would like to call on MPs once again to work together. In order to calculate next year’s budget in time, we need to take these changes into consideration.”

Those who took part in the discussion emphasized the unacceptable nature of losing time due to politicking: “We have lost 2-3 months and the reform is postponed,” said Kostyantyn Yarynych, MP and member of the Verkhovna Rada’s Healthcare Committee. “However I will call a special meeting of the necessary parliamentary committee to consider these new draft laws granting autonomy to medical institutions. The draft laws are truly reformative initaitives. We just need to kick-start the process. I am convinced that these laws need to become a priority consideration of Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada.”

Head of the Healthcare Department at the Odesa Regional State Administration Vyacheslav Polyansky is confident that today the general public is ready for the start of the medical reform process: “If it is not started now, people’s will lose faith in reforms. I agree with the Minister that we are short on time and have to move the current system towards new methods of financing, the purchasing of services, the provision of better quality medical products and guaranteed medical aid. If these reforms are not undertaken within the first half of the year, the medical sector may suffer serious social regress, and even lead to the complete collapse of the medical aid provision system.”

This idea was echoed by Head of the Healthcare Ministry’s Civic Council Maksym Ionov: “The public is thirsty for change, and if we stop this process now it will only register as a defeat amongst the populace. The Minister’s attempt to push forward on this issue is precious. It’s doubtful that the Parliamentary Committee will be able to decide on the path the reforms will take and influence the process. The public calls on all those responsible to kick start the reform.”

The Healthcare Ministry’s reform, among other things, is an important step forward in terms of decentralization, added Chief Expert of the Reanimation Package of Reforms Zoryana Chernenko: “The Majority of problems lie are the responsibility of local authorities.  The Healthcare Ministry’s laws put everything in their place in terms of decentralization – these steps are indispensable for further progress.”