Poll: First Step of Health Care Reform Successful in Ukraine
Seventy-six percent of people who signed an agreement with a doctor are satisfied with their choice
The first stage is a new system for family medicine. Twenty two million Ukrainians have already participated.
Under the new rules, Anastasiya Chumach, a mother of four, was able to choose to keep her doctor by signing an agreement. The doctor has treated her children for several years.
“I have four children, and today, it really has become a bit easier, since everything can be done in one doctor’s office,” Chumach said.
One-third of people who have signed an agreement with their doctors said that the doctors have become more attentive to their patients, according to the results of a recent poll by the Ministry of Health.
People say that now it’s easier to get an appointment, thanks to electronically-held medical records.
Also, 76 percent of people who signed an agreement with a doctor are satisfied with their choice.
The second stage of healthcare reform is medical services by specialized doctors as well as emergency medical care. This stage will be launched in 2019.
Ukrainian Deputy Health Minister Pavlo Kovtoniuk experienced the effect of the reform himself. He signed an agreement with his own personal therapist.
“Next to my home, in a communal clinic, I went to one doctor for a very long time, and as a result, I chose him as my personal doctor. For me, it was an improvement in living conditions, because I never had my own doctor. I did not know where to go if I got sick,” Kovtoniuk said.
The reform began with the primary level of healthcare services: pediatricians, therapists, and family doctors. The patient signs an agreement with these doctors and receives a package of services paid for by the state. The services of doctors at this level are paid by the National Health Service.
“Our level of financing is not only sufficient but also higher than ever. Our primary care and family medicine has a budget for the next year, which is higher than ever before, 15 billion hryvnias. Before, it was 8 to 9 billion hryvnias. We have increased the budget of this industry by one and a half times,” Kovtoniuk explained.
Volodymyr Kudriavtsev is a family doctor and he currently receives $14 dollars per year for each person.
“Salaries have increased about three times, but so far, the implementation of healthcare reform has just started,” Kudriavtsev said.
Patients are guaranteed a free doctor’s appointment and vaccinations for their children, as well as a cardiogram and routine medical tests.
“This includes analysis of blood sugar and blood cholesterol. This is a test for viral hepatitis B and C, this is a test for HIV infection, pregnancy tests and troponin tests for detecting myocardial infarction,” said deputy director of Primary Medical and Sanitary Care Center, Ihor Belushchenko.