Yuriy Nikanyonok  

Reforms of Ministry of Health of Ukraine: the Patient is More Dead than Alive

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We’ve been hearing tons of promises from Ministry of Health of Ukraine for years now. Those include the opportunity to get medical assistance in a hospital of outside of your area of residence, single electronic database of patients’ records, the right of a clinic to manage their earnings and so on. Unfortunately, reality leaves much to be desired.    

The ambulance, called to the oncology patient, refuses to arrive as the only thing they can help him with is a painkiller shot.  Everyone knows it. There is an extreme lack of the ambulance cars causing a number of tragic incidents due to waiting too long. The question is – is it possible at all to arrange for the sufficient number of cars and their timely arrival? I guess, it is.

What if you live in a remote village whether no one heard of the ambulance at all since the only person people can turn to help to is a paramedic who has only a bike and the simplest meds at hand.  In this case all you can pray for is that your neighbour will be able to drive you to the hospital in case of emergency.   Question to the Ministry of Health: Ukraine, being a European state, seems to have no budget to provide at least 1 ambulance covering 2-3 villages. Why? What about complains of the medical personnel rudeness, their low level of expertise and the necessity to pay the doctors from own pocket.  Looking at these problems from doctors’ prospective we can see old hospitals, absence of equipment, misery funding, low pay and constant stress. 

Discussions on the radical changes in national medicine have caught on long time ago in Ministry of Health. Ukraine, unfortunately, is yet to benefit from them as all the reforms all boil down to the discussions only.
Discussions on the radical changes in national medicine have caught on long time ago in Ministry of Health. Ukraine, unfortunately, is yet to benefit from them as all the reforms all boil down to the discussions only.  The most puzzling thing, however, is the situation in which two hospitals receiving equal funding can show completely different results in terms of the quality of patient care and the meds supply. Maybe, the problem lies in the hospital managers? Maybe, we should focus on implementing dozens of tiny reforms evident and useful for the patients rather than planning one single grand reform with an outcome quite cloudy and expected in the long run.  I have a strong feeling that such issues can be easily solved given Ministry of Health of Ukraine sets its mind on it. 


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