The Government is looking for possibilities to increase funding for programs which are critically important for Ukrainian citizens suffering from heavy diseases. The goal is to provide full-scale funding for such programs for the first time in 25 years. This must help save hundreds of human lives and bring recovery to dozens of thousands of Ukrainians.
The charity foundation “Patienty Ukrainy” sent an official letter to Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman, Minister of Finance Oleksandr Danyliuk and interim Minister of Health Ulyana Suprun asking to provide necessary funding for medical treatment programs in 2017. Following that letter, a meeting was held at the Ministry of Finance on September 6 which was attended by Minister of Finance Oleksandr Danyliuk, interim Minister of Health Ulyana Suprun and activists representing patients’ organizations including foundation “Patienty Ukrainy”, “All-Ukrainian Network of Citizens living with HIV” and charity foundation “Children living with hemophilia”.
What is the problem?
For many years, thousands of Ukrainians who are critically ill have been unable to receive proper medical treatment, since they can’t cover its costs. Now, more than a million citizens in Ukraine suffer from cancer, thousands of citizens live with HIV/AIDS and other diseases which are deadly dangerous. The Ukrainian can’t ensure a comprehensive treatment for them. The available funding is only sufficient to cover 50% of the demand for medicines which are crucial for these patients. More than that, most of even these citizens have never received medicines free of charge, since the purchase and distribution of medicines have always been lacking transparency and have been hugely corrupt.
What is the solution?
Being fully aware of the huge importance of this issue, the Government will join all efforts to find possibilities to secure the necessary funding to cover all costs of the programs for the treatment of citizens suffering from cancer, HIV/AIDS, hemophilia, virus hepatitis, sclerosis, diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular diseases, cerebrovascular diseases and other heavy diseases. It also includes funding for transplantations and prosthetic implants.
3.95 billion hryvnas were allotted for this area in the state budgets for 2016. The Ministries of Finance and Healthcare are cooperating with the public to find additional 2.1 billion hryvnas to completely cover the financing request from the Ministry of Healthcare amounting 6 billion hryvnas.
Along with these efforts, the Ministry of Finance will be cooperating with the Ministry of Healthcare, the NGO “Patienty Ukrainy” and other organizations to increase the transparency and effectiveness of budget spending to cover the needs of as many Ukrainian citizens as possible. Thus, the procurement procedure for medicines has already been changed – procurement now runs not via obscure intermediate companies, but via international organizations like the UNO. Thanks to this, the Ministry of Healthcare has already purchased medicines for cancer treatment approx. 45% cheaper compared to the previous year. It means that almost 50% more medicines were purchased for the same money.
What is the advantage?
Increased funding and its improved effectiveness can ensure free-of-charge medicines to critically ill citizen and save thousands of lives.
How can it be done?
There are no simple solutions. In the course of the current budget reform the Government is making the state budget accountable and realistic. It means that financial capacities are thoroughly checked before approving any spending.
“Even in the current situation, where the budget austerity is really hard, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministery of Health will be doing their utmost jointly with the public to find resources necessary to increase funding for the proper treatment of all critically ill citizens. This is extremely important for us, human lives depend on this. We pursue the same approach in all other areas. We identify ineffective expenses, withdraw the funding and transfer it to the areas which really need it and where the funds can deliver the biggest positive effect for citizens”, Minister of Finance Oleksandr Danyliuk said.
To find the optimal solution, the Government is inviting everyone to take part and to share ideas. Please send your ideas on how to free resources and to increase the effectiveness of medicine procurement for critically ill citizens to firstname.lastname@example.org.