We Support the Healthcare Reform. Statement by the International Renaissance Foundation

The International Renaissance Foundation reaffirms its support for healthcare reform by consistently advocating for the interests of Ukrainian patients who deserve modern, fair and corruption-free healthcare; healthcare, where patients receive quality medical services and doctors receive decent pay.

Since the Revolution of Dignity in 2014, when the idea and the need to reform the Ukrainian healthcare came to fore, the International Renaissance Foundation has been providing consistent support to the reform efforts. The Foundation, together with numerous other donors and partners from the healthcare sector, civil society and patient communities, has helped build professional dialogue, create a vision and develop a method for reforming the healthcare, including the National Health Care Reform Strategy for 2015-2020.

Together, we have crossed several important milestones through this arduous journey: from the audit of the wreckage of the Soviet healthcare system to the launch of a new system and modern, strong state institutions in this area; this also includes initiating the development of the “Affordable Medicines” Program and the introduction of the National List of Essential Medicines, which are evidence-effective and guaranteed by the state to each patient of the hospital; overcoming corruption schemes in the procurement of medicines, and reforming the primary care, among others.

The following concepts shall underpin the new healthcare system in our country, like in all democratic states: transparency, accountability, universal accessibility and efficiency. It is new to us, but in many countries a similar system has been in place for decades.

Our job is to take advantage of the challenges brought by COVID-19 and, using the lessons learnt throughout this turbulent time, to build our new healthcare system, instead of backsliding to the old system, which appears inadequate in the realities of today.

We recognize that a profound reform requires bold managerial decisions, sometimes unpopular, involving the reorganization and merging of healthcare facilities. A difficult stage lies ahead of us, as we are beginning to implement the healthcare reform at a second tier of the health system, that is, hospitals and other inpatient establishments.

So let’s us not forget what we are doing and why, and most importantly, for whom.

Healthcare reform is for everyone. And it is not only for those who are ill: it shall be built upon fundamental concepts of prevention and rehabilitation. Transformations the system is undergoing today are necessary for our children, parents, family and friends. They are necessary for us, too: for some of us right now, if not in one year, otherwise in 10 or 20 years. The healthcare reform is not only about new principles of financing, instead, it is about building a new sustainable system of relations between doctors, patients and the state.

The International Renaissance Foundation reaffirms our unwavering support for politicians, health managers and doctors who are committed to take the reform onward, who never give up and are not afraid of difficulties, and who will never betray patients.

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