Victor Yushchenko took part in a grand ceremony to open a nationwide conference of medical workers in Vinnytsya, the President press office informed.

In his speech, the Head of State said it was incumbent on both government and society to globally reform the medical sector. The President said health was one of the key elements of Ukraine's national security. He reiterated that he had recently signed a decree toacceptHealth Minister Yuriy Polyachenko as a member of the National Security and Defense Council.

Addressing the medical workers, the President urged them to discuss a National Action Plan on Health Protection in detail.
“I expect an honest conversation about fundamentals of national health reforms. You are the side to which the nation and government appeal," Yushchenko said.
The Head of State remarked that the medical sector needed serious structural changes. On one hand, Ukraine’s medicine should be highly technological but, on the other hand, it must be affordable, he said.

Yushchenko added that we should train family doctors, which work successfully in many European countries. He also insisted on improving medical services in rural areas.The President reminded those present that in 2006 the government would spend UAH 250 mln to equip medical facilities in villages throughout Ukraine. He also hopesdistrict hospitals will be fully reequipped in four-five years.

“We must do it professionally and find partners in government and business,” he said.

The President then pledged to personally control the implementation of national programs to fight HIV/AIDS, TB, cancer, heart and blood disease.

The National Action Plan on Health Protection was worked out by the Health Ministry and medical institutions in accordance with Victor Yushchenko’s Decree on Urgent Measures to Reform the Health System. The Health Minister has recently presented the five-year plan at a cabinet meeting. This documentdefines legislative, structural, administrative and financial changes in the sector and is intent to introduce insurance in our budget medicine.


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