President Viktor Yushchenko on Thursday visited the village of Makariv to take part in a medical forum, President’s press office reports.

In his speech, Yushchenko said Ukraine’s medical sector “needs profound reforms” and said healthcare spending had grownalmost fourfoldover the past five years, from UAH 6 billion in 2002 to this year’s 21 billion. He promised to ensure that the state spends more money on medicine every year but complained Ukraine had Europe’s highest mortality and lowest birth rate, and low life expectancy.

The President said these facts showed that the country’s medical budget was not used effectively and that the first aid sector was in deep crisis and insufficiently funded. “First-aid medicine is our priority number one,” he said.

Yushchenko said the country’s first aid facilities were badly furnished and equipped, urging local authorities and self-governments to start reforms in the sector. He added it was important to introduce new financial and managerial mechanisms, create a new model of medicine, pass newand amend the existinghealthcare laws.

Kyiv Governor Vira Ulyanchenko said her region was Ukraine’s leader in developing family medicine. “While the government is still debating the issue, we have understood what to do to develop family medicine in the region. One can achieve results when concentrating efforts,” she said.

Yushchenko then presented emergency vehicles to the region’s hospitals.


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