In Dnipropetrovsk, Victor Yushchenko visited the Mechnykov Hospital. At a meeting with medical workers of the region, Health Minister Yuri Polyachenko presented a road map to develop the public health system in Dnipropetrovsk. It was elaborated in accordance with Yushchenko’s order on the National Action Plan on the Improvement of Public Health in 2006-2007 and includes the following priorities:

  • rendering first aid in rural areas;
  • introducing a regional mother and child care program;
  • treating and preventing heart and blood vessel disease;
  • controlling the spread of tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS.

The program is intent to make the medical sector efficient, self-sufficient and affordable, presidential press office reports.

Today, two thirds of medical services are rendered as part of first aid medicine. This sector, however, is insufficiently funded,Yushchenko remarked and added that we should reform first aid and family medicine.

“Today, we should provide doctors with equipment, medications and all things they need for work,” he said.

The President is convinced it is vital to introduce structural changes, improve services and raise salaries to doctors.

“I am fundamentally sure doctor is one of few professions that help Ukraine make progress,” Yushchenko said.

Commenting on the unsatisfactory state of many Ukrainian hospitals, the President stressed government aimed to first renovate wards and doctor offices.

“Of course, we will not repair everything in one year, but we aim to begin with a few hospitals, equip and fund them,” hesaid and added that “if the program is implemented professionally, many partners and not only financial partners will join it.”

The Head of State also broached the subject of public health in the Dnipropetrovsk region, claiming that it has more TB and HIV/AIDS patients than anywhere else in Ukraine. He thinks government and medical professionals should jointly fight against these widespread diseases.

“Today, the government quite fully understands problems of the sector,” he said, calling on medical workers to start an open dialogue.

The Health Minister then said government had already taken certain measures to improve the situation in the medical sector. This year, more money will be spent to fund HIV/AIDS programs. In addition to that, the government is going to spend one million hryvnyas to purchase medical equipment to diagnose patients.

After the meeting, Yushchenko decorated a few doctors with state orders.

Deputy Chief of Staff Anatoly Matviyenko, Dnipropetrovsk Governor Nadiya Deyeva, and Hospital Head Doctor Volodymyr Pavlov took part in the meeting.

Founded in 1798 as Katerynoslav Province Hospital, the Mechnykov Hospital is one of the oldest medical facilities in Ukraine. It annually hosts 32 thousand people. 280 thousand patients visit its polyclinic.


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