There are many suggestions today as to how the Ukrainian health care system needs to be reformed. Such initiatives are put forth by representatives from state authorities, NGOs, professional organizations, and scientific institutions. In their suggestions, they emphasize the necessity to take into account relevant positive international experience, specifically that of EU countries. An optimal way to transfer the experience is immediate participation of European experts in making recommendations on optimization of the Ukrainian health care system operation.
Since late 2003, the European Union has been implementing a project on Health Financing and Management in Ukraine. The key element of the Project is to promote implementation of a compulsory state social health insurance system. The Project deputy manager, Eero Linnakko from Finland, kindly agreed to tell about Project activities and implementation progress.


Implementation of the EU project on Health Financing and Management in Ukraine started on Dec. 12, 2003. The Project aims to provide technical assistance in reforming the Ukrainian health care system. One of the most important activities under the Project is to practice new models of health financing and management based on two pilot regions - Popilnya Raion of Zhytomyr Oblast and Zolochiv Raion of Kharkiv Oblast (see Apteka Weekly No. 31 (452) of Aug. 16, 2004). To this end, the Project intends to use state-of-the-art strategies that have proven their effectiveness in other European countries, including those whose health care systems quite recently were similar to that in Ukraine. One of the ultimate goals of this Project activity is to demonstrate the effectiveness and efficiency of these strategies using the example of pilot regions.
We asked Volodymyr Rudy, Ukrainian Project Director, to amplify on the Project implementation in the pilot regions.

"On the Way of Political Intrigues"
The article deals with health protection of population of Ukraine. At present, health protection is one of the most poignant social problems. The issue of health insurance is not new in Ukrainian history. In fact, it is health insurance that initiated formation of the basis for social insurance. Each time MPs' attempts to develop and approve the law on state social health insurance encounter intense resistance from opposition forces. The constitutional right of citizens of Ukraine is sacrificed to corporate interests of insurance companies and destructive political forces. That is why the cost of the unsuccessful voting of the draft law on mandatory state social health insurance is the nation's health.
see Ukrainian version

Segodnja, 24/06/2004

"Insurance Medicine Will Be Implemented in Zhytomyr Oblast"
Information that a pilot EU TACIS Project "Health Financing and Management in Ukraine" has started up in Zhytomyr Oblast. The project is focused on implementation of insurance medicine in Kharkiv and Zhytomyr regions. The reason for that was successful activity of the charity organisation "Hospital Cash of Zhytomyr Oblast". The Project allocated 4.5 mln. euro for Kharkiv and Zhytomyr oblasts
see Ukrainian version


Delovaya Stolitsa, 21/06/2004, Lilia Didenko

"The Parliament Let Down the Capital City Administration"
Information that the Kyiv major has taken a serious offense with Verhovna Rada members. Last week they voted down again the draft law on mandatory state health insurance. Now the idea of implementation of insurance medicine cherished by Kyiv authorities will stay deprived of legal support for at least one more year.
see Ukrainian version

"His Position is Just Vozianov"
The newspaper publishes a conversation with Alexander Fedorovich Vozianov, the President of the Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine. The Professor believes that mandatory health insurance can only function in the country with a strong economy. As a result of insurance medicine implementation, Ukraine will receive a few new billionaires who will impose their conditions on physicians. And people will be waiting for some deductions from the dependent bank. According to A.F. Vozianov, the only form of health insurance that can be implemented at the present stage is voluntary insurance.
see Ukrainian version

Profil, 21/06/2004

"There Will Be No Mandatory Health Insurance"
Information that the Parliament rejected the draft law "On Mandatory Health Insurance" and sent it back for revision. The central place within the new system of health insurance in the draft law is attributed to the Health Insurance Fund, into which employers should pay their insurance fees. The insufficiently defined system of control and use of the Fund's means became the reason for rejection of this draft law.
see Ukrainian version


Kontrakty, 21/06/2004, Victoria Ratna

"Insurance Obligation Is Postponed"
see Ukrainian version

"Health Insurance Won't Come In Force Again"
Information that Verhovna Rada of Ukraine once again rejected implementation of mandatory state social health insurance.
see Ukrainian version

"I'm Not Afraid of Injections!"
An article about health insurance of children. At present, only a few insurance companies offer insurance programs for children. Among them - "Ukrinmedstrah", "Inkomstrah", "Skide-West" and SG "TAS". As insurants themselves mention, insurance programs for children are far not cheap and surely unprofitable for insurance companies, especially insurance programs for children under one. The cheapest basic insurance program costs, on average, 500-570 UAH a year and includes only the opportunity of a medical examination in hospital by profile specialists during one year.
see Ukrainian version

An article about illusions of our society's perception of the existing system of healthcare. The author mentions the lack of financing of the branch as one of such illusions, i.e. the idea that if medicine is made chargeable (or mandatory health insurance is implemented), all problems will be solved. This idea is illusionary. According to the author, increasing of financing under the current system of distribution of budgetary funds and organisation of medical assistance will not bring in qualitative changes into the sphere of healthcare. Until medical assistance is not an economic category, until the healthcare system is not transformed significantly, lack of financial resources will be the constant companion of Ukrainian healthcare, reminding carrying water in a sieve.
see Ukrainian version