Perhaps, a situation, when the whole Ukrainian society is sharply divided and takes one of the two sides of the conflict is quite rare. The latest example was the decision of the Kyiv District Court, which has suspended Ulyana Suprun from exercising the power of Ukraine’s Health Minister.
The country's top leadership – President Poroshenko, PM Volodymyr Groysman, and Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada Andriy Parubiy – has clearly expressed its support.
Actually, there is nothing surprising in this position: the removal and dismissal of Suprun is actual recognition of the failure of healthcare reform.
The Cabinet of Ministers has even issued an official statement, presenting Suprun a victim of the “war” between her as the corrupted officials from Ukraine’s healthcare sphere.
Speaking about the fighting corruption in the Healthcare Ministry, it is difficult to assess Suprun’s contribution. Unless, of course, we consider a powerful blow to the statements about red caviar.
Neither the president, nor the prime minister, nor the parliamentary speaker has explained the success of the medical reform, but still, there are several markers that allow us to make a judgment about this. At the same time, this might give an answer to the question: would the doctors support their minister?
One of the most frequently used arguments for the healthcare reform, voiced by the Ministry of Health, was the salary increase for the doctors. In particular, the "family doctors" were promised almost 1,250 USD per month (under a range of conditions).
The real situation was completely different.
Back in January, Kyiv emergency medical care employee, Anna Ruban, posted data on the salaries of healthcare workers: even the doctors of the highest qualification received only 155 USD monthly. After a couple of days, the post was deleted, giving rise to doubts about the success of the healthcare reform.
The average salary of physicians is not too high, and you can easily check this by going to the website of Ukraine’s State Statistics Service. According to it, in December the average salary of the healthcare workers amounted to 210 USD, and from the beginning of the year, it has increased by 17.6%. The average salary in Ukraine was 315 USD in December, while its growth was 24.8%.
In addition, low wages cannot deal with another challenge of the domestic healthcare system – the lack of personnel. It was assumed that the reform would lead to an increase in wages and the elimination of personnel shortages.
Of course, one year is too short a period to eliminate the shortage that has been growing over the years, but the State Statistics Service again clearly indicates that the outflow of medical personnel is increasing. So, in January-September 2018, 90,100 new employees have come to the medical institutions, and 116,700 have left.
Audit of Chamber of Ukraine has revealed that the project on improving health care in Ukraine’s eight regions was implemented by 24%!
Back in 2015, Ukraine has borrowed 215 million USD from the International Development and Reconstruction Bank (IBRD) until 2020. However, as the audit showed, only 28% of the total amount reached the local budgets and accounts of healthcare institutions, and the remaining funds remained on the accounts of the IBRD.
But even those funds that have reached the regions were not fully used: 7,3 million USD out of almost 53 million USD remain unencumbered.
So, the regional project on improving the healthcare system at the expense of an international loan has been failed, the salaries of medical employees are still low, and the outflow of personnel continues. Show me the success of Ukraine’s new healthcare system, for which Mrs. Suprun is so lauded?
Why the president, the prime minister or the speaker do not voice this success? Or at least why don’t they name those “enemies” of Ulyana Suprun, who declared her “war” and won it?
This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or 112.International and its owners.