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Statement of the International Renaissance Foundation in support of the Healthcare Reform

10 April 2018

The International Renaissance Foundation once again reassures its support for the healthcare reform and for the indefatigable agents of change at the Ministry of Health of Ukraine who are implementing it. The Foundation urges to ignore outright manipulations which are getting increasingly aggressive. 

For the International Renaissance Foundation, the healthcare reform has been a priority objective for years, and we are well aware of the scope of structural changes needed in this area. The parameters of the current stage of the reform were determined by the experts of the Strategic Advisory Group which had been working with the support of the Foundation under different leadership at the Ministry of Health since 2014. The Strategy of the Healthcare Reform in Ukraine for the period till 2020, which was elaborated by experts with different views and opinions, received a wide acknowledgement. It was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and recommended for implementation by the World Health Organization and the World Bank. 

The work of the experts demonstrated how important it is to achieve a consensus in such a sensitive and important area. Hence, it is obvious that critical remarks and comments on how to make this job better will never stop. 

But the key success of this reform is not the achieved consensus on its strategy, but the courage with which this reform has been pursued. The healthcare reform needed leaders capable to overcome resistance and sabotage in this area. 

The success which Ulyana Suprun and her team achieved in adopting and implementing changes in the legislation lets us hope for the overall positive outcome of the reform. The International Renaissance Foundation was not involved in designating the candidate for the position of the Healthcare Minister and did not support Ulyana Suprun until she was designated to this position. However, it is now clear for us that the leaders of the country and the Government made a correct choice in her favor. 

This conclusion is based on the fact that the Ministry of Health with the support of the Cabinet of Ministers and the Parliament managed to start the practical implementation of the key elements of the reform: providing autonomy to healthcare facilities, transformation of the funding mechanisms and personnel remuneration in the healthcare sector, adoption of the National List of the Basic Medicines, reimbursement for healthcare items and build-up of the primary level of medical aid. 

Baseless and manipulative arguments in the statements of the Committee of the Verkhovna Rada  on healthcare which recommended the Parliament to address the Cabinet of Ministers and to demand the dismissal of the serving Minister of Health calls into question the possibility of implementing even the basic tasks of the development of healthcare in Ukraine.  

We consider manipulative and political allegations as resistance of the old system and as an attempt to undermine the trust to the critically needed transformations in the very moment when they have just been launched.   

We do believe that positive changes will not be disrupted under the pressure coming from the part of the Ukrainian political establishment as well as the part of medical and pharmaceutical community which have been destroying the Ukrainian healthcare system for years and wish to keep the old system running. 

The Foundation deems it is important to support real reforms and real agents of change in the Government who are reforming the healthcare sector by pursuing the interests of patients. The Foundation is ready to continue its support of such transformations.  

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