Rural healthcare to be implemented! President of Ukraine signed Law 7117 “On improvement of accessibility and quality of healthcare in rural areas”. It is intended to solve the problem with the critical state of primary healthcare in the rural areas, not resolved for decades. The task is to ensure high-quality of healthcare service, turn it towards rural residents amounting to over 13.1 million people, and in some oblasts constituting over 60% of the population, wrote Hennadii Zubko, Vice Prime Minister – Minister of Regional Development, Construction, Housing and Communal Services of Ukraine, on his Facebook page.
According to the Vice Prime Minister, the law actually initiated the reform of rural healthcare. The main goal is to provide high-quality medical examination in the rural area, timely detection of diseases, primarily genetic ones in the early stages, consistent supervision of certain groups of patients, prevention and recreation measures.
“When we say that 35% of Ukraine’s population live in rural areas, we do not always understand that this is only “an average temperature in the ward”. We have 7 oblasts with 50% and more of rural population, and 8 oblasts, where this indicator is about 40% or more. However, we have disappointing statistics: 80% of patients receive help immediately at the second or third level, bypassing the primary level – outpatient clinics and family doctors. Instead, in EU countries, the ratio of patient visits to primary and other healthcare levels is fundamentally opposite and amounts to 70% of visits to the primary level and 30% - to the secondary one,” he said.
According to the official, the basic healthcare is now practically eliminated in the rural areas. Therefore, any doctor, even a gifted one, is not able to provide high-quality treatment within the existing conditions. There are 4 thousand outpatient clinics and 12.7 thousand health posts in 23 thousand villages and settlements. Their technical condition is wretched. 75% of them have no water supply, 82% of rural outpatient clinics do not have toilets. The health post has become an intermediate point, through which the patient is transported from the point A to the point B – to the rayon or oblast centre with a certain level of healthcare. Health posts simply do not function as a primary healthcare link.
“Law 7117 creates an effective model of primary healthcare by means of establishing outpatient units – primary link network of rural healthcare institutions, introduction of modern technical solutions and motivational benefits for doctors. Together with the Ministry of Health, local self-governments and doctors we are currently developing a methodology for the establishment of an effective network of outpatient units. We need to reorient the primary link directly to the outpatient clinic with a doctor, equipment, transport, remote healthcare, and most importantly – the honest primary healthcare. I am sure that a significant part of the expected changes can be implemented in a year or two. The success depends on coordinated and rapid actions of all line ministries involved: MinRegion, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education and Science, as well as local authorities,” wrote Hennadii Zubko.
Прес-служба Віце-прем’єр-міністра України
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