Healthcare “Reform” in Ukraine: Doctors Leave en Masse, Hospitals Close, State Programs Are Curtailed

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard


The People’s Deputy of the Verkhovna Rada Olga Bogomolets reported on Facebook that the Cabinet of Minsters did not create or approve a new program for the treatment of cancer, therefore, Ukrainian cancer patients will be left alone with their misfortune and will have to rely solely on their own strength.

The government failed in the program to combat cancer

The State targeted program for the treatment of cancer ended, and the new one hasn’t been established or approved by the government. Now all cancer patients, as well as those who fall ill, have to rely solely on themselves.

The previous 10-year State program, which included measures for the prevention and treatment of cancer, ended in 2016, and since then a new one has not been developed. It’s true that the Cabinet of Ministers adopted a resolution according to which the Ministry of Health must develop a new State program during the first quarter of 2017, but, as has become customary, the Ministry of Healthcare has not done anything.

The program was not created, and therefore there is no provision for its implementation. Patients will be left without help. Perhaps this is some new special ‘reform’ that should benefit Ukrainians? Maybe it is necessary? Or, maybe it’s just the criminal inactivity of officials of the Ministry of Healthcare?

In my opinion, such a policy of the Ministry of Healthcare is a threat to the national security of the State, because on a national scale it leads to the destruction of the human potential of Ukraine. People die much more from it than from military operations in the East [Donbass – ed].

The number of cancer patients is growing, there are already 1,000,000 of them in Ukraine, about 130,000 new cases are registered every year. Mortality is also 1.5 times higher than the European rate! 60% of patients die from all types of cancers in Ukraine. It would seem that it is necessary to sound the alarm and direct all efforts to save Ukrainians from cancer.

But the government not only disrupts the development of extremely important State programs, it also deprives people of the right to basic assistance. In the budget for 2018, only 28% of what is needed is allocated for treating cancer patients.

This means that according to the governmental ‘money follows the patient’ scheme, the funds for treatment will go only to 28% of patients with cancer. The remaining 72% will sell their property and borrow money around the world to get at least a phantom chance for life.

And such a picture is observed in all directions. With a normal need for financing medicine at a rate of 7% of GDP, the government allocated only 3.5% to it.

The Health Committee repeatedly appealed to the government with a demand to budget at least 5% of GDP for medicine, but protecting people’s health and life is obviously not a priority of the government’s policy today.

Doctors leave the country massively, hospitals are closed, State programs are curtailed, Ukraine returns to the Middle Ages. If this is reform, then what is a ruin?”

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