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On the Healthcare Reform

23 October 2017

The Parliament has adopted the draft law “On Financial State Guarantees for the Supply of Healthcare Services and Medicines” (draft law No. 6327) which was proposed by the Government as well as the draft law “On Amendments to the Budget Code of Ukraine to Ensure the Financial State Guarantees for the Supply of Healthcare Services and Medicines” (No. 6604) whch was adopted in the first reading. This is a huge success in regard to the political support for the healthcare reform. The International Renaissance Foundation sends its best regards to everyone who made efforts to implement this step.

The adoption of the above laws is also important in regard to the long-lasting efforts of the Foundation and its program “Public Health” aimed to support initiatives and projects whose output was taken into account during the preparation of these draft laws. At the same time, the adopted law is based on meticulous expert work assisted by the Foundation following the initiative of George Soros. 

In 2014, the Strategic Advisory Group on the Healthcare Reform was established with our support. This group, led by Volodymyr Kurpita, brought together experts to develop the concept of the reform of the public healthcare funding mechanism and the public healthcare development concept which were approved by the Government in 2016. The involvement of experts who have different views on the content of the reform and its communication to citizens stands for the new culture of public policy making in Ukraine. Fostering the engagement of independent experts and stakeholders in the implementation of the healthcare reform and other reforms, which is actively supported by the Foundation, is an extremely important task for our society.

The adopted legislation sets the framework for the implementation of the key ideas of the healthcare reform. At the same time, the success of the reform will depend on the way in which its regulations will be implemented in the decrees of the Government and the Healthcare Ministry. Another important success factor is how the new funding approaches will be implemented in the state budget of next year and the following years. To a high extent, the success of the reform also depends on the effectiveness of National Healthcare Service as well as on the cooperation with local self-government bodies in regard to the basic medical assistance.

The results of the healthcare reform will become visible in several years (budget cycles) provided that all necessary steps are implemented in an effective and balanced way with the involvement of all stakeholders and an open dialogue with the civil society.

The reform requires further political decisions to be taken by the Parliament of Ukraine, including the final adoption of draft law 6604 as well as the settlement of the issues excluded from draft law 6637 – first of all, the co-payment issue – to gain general support in the Parliament.

Emotion-driven and polarizing debates on the healthcare reform in Ukraine, which concerns all of us, are not unique. This year’s discussions on the review of the healthcare reform in the USA and protests of interns in Poland against their working conditions – these are just the most outstanding examples to be mentioned which make it clear how crucial it is to find a consensus on reforms in this field.

The International Renaissance Foundation will continue supporting the public and productive decision-making process in the healthcare reform. We will help to find the solutions which respect and balance the interests of different groups of the society. The Foundation will be actively contributing to the development and affordability of healthcare services for all citizens with the focus on the reform implementation at the local level and the public communication of the reform.

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