Chaired by First Deputy Chief of Presidential Staff Iryna Akimova, a consultative meeting on healthcare reform was held. Among participants of the meeting were Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine for Social Affairs Serhiy Tihipko, Minister of Health Illya Yemets, Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Committee for Motherhood and Childhood Protection Tetyana Bakhteyeva, heads of regional healthcare departments, medical facilities and practitioners from all regions of Ukraine.

Opening the meeting, Iryna Akimova reminded that the President of Ukraine had made healthcare reform a priority for 2010, and it remains a priority for the coming 2011.

She said that a lot of problems have accumulated in healthcare, although there are undeniable accomplishments too.

Speaking about the tasks of the planned reforms, Iryna Akimova said the priority here is to improve the quality of medical service. "This is the first thing that worries most of the people in our country," she said.

The second, according to her, is to raise the status and material interest of doctors.

The third important challenge is to increase the efficiency of public funds use by medical institutions. "The allocated money, unfortunately, is not used efficiently," Iryna Akimova said. She emphasized that the principle of financing healthcare institutions should be changed from "per-bed" to “per cured case”.

According to the First Deputy Chief of Staff, launching the reform requires legislative base. "And that is what we all must work on together ... We have a month and a half at most. We cannot wait with the reform any further,” said Iryna Akimova said.

The Deputy Chief of Staff expressed acclaim to the fact that 14 regions of Ukraine have already submitted the proposals on mechanisms of implementing the reform in this very short period of time. "They have submitted their comments, analytical suggestions, and reasoned criticism, which is very important," she said.

"It is clear that we will not be able to elaborate quality changes to the healthcare system without doctors or people directly involved in treatment of patients," Iryna Akimova said.

She also said that in order to study and minimize all the risks, the reform will be tested in Donetsk, Dnipropetrovsk and Vinnytsya pilot regions.

"We will perfect effective, correct and safe for the society schemes of healthcare reform during implementation of pilot projects, which then can be applied throughout Ukraine," Iryna Akimova said.


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