When asked what measures success of work in power, I answer that it’s a normal life of citizens in my country. What is needed for that? Strong economy, sustainable economic growth. Then there will be funds in the budget, incomes in families, security in the state, good profile and respect in the world.
Is it difficult to achieve this? I think the hardest thing is to start moving. And here the key is just the desire to change something. My team and I have it.
We have examples of successful work. The decentralisation reform is among them. For years cities and villages had no funds, even to solve the most elemental problems. All revenues were sent to Kyiv, and only crumbs were returned back. I remember well the times when we “got stuck” in a vortex of municipal problems. But there was a desire to move things forward. And we moved off.
Today the revenues of local budgets have exponentially increased. And next year will add another UAH 41.4 billion to UAH 291.1 billion. We leave budget support. What has this already provided? More than 3000 new buildings on the ground. And these are kindergartens, schools, hospitals, repaired road and much more. Then the reform will gain momentum. Next year, we put a lot of resources to improve living standards of people in cities and villages throughout Ukraine.
Another example is the road. Only this year we have performed more plans than suring the Euro 2012 football championship, when roads were considered a construction priority. Was it difficult to get the “Ukravtodor’s car” out of the swamp? It was. But there was a desire to get it out.
Healthcare. This system was of an “accidental” concern – it was better never getting ill at all. We launched the “Available Medicines” programme with a range of 261 medications. We have already reimbursed 25 million prescriptions. In course of two years, we have financed the purchase of 26 angiographs to equip cardio centres. This is a vital device, allowing round-the-clock emergency treatment for myocardial infarction. And these are not virtual numbers, but really saved lives. The reform of the primary healthcare system is ongoing. Salaries of most doctors, who actively sign contracts with patients, have already increased 2-3-fold. Their interest in patients has also grown. The next step is free diagnostics.
Would I like to move faster? I would. But we have to overcome not only resistance of the system, but also external “spokes in the wheels”, i.e. unprecedented debts of past periods that need to be paid already next year. We are also concerned about small wages, especially of those working in such essential fields as security and defense, or education. But here we are changing the situation. Imagine, two years ago, the average salary of a rescuer, who risks his life every day, was only UAH 3 200. From next year there will be a minimum of 9 thousand. Besides, we will increase the salaries of scientific and pedagogical workers, doctors and emergency medical staff.
Next year we will automatically and without any attachment to political trends increase pensions of the military and other categories of citizens.
I have not been long in the central government yet, but the experience acquired does not allow me to lose my desire to change the country. Ukraine has all the chances and opportunities to become truly successful!
Author: Volodymyr Groysman
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29 May 2020
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