Draft Law No. 7117 "On Improvement of Accessibility and Quality of Health Care Services in Rural Areas" as initiated by President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has been registered with the Verkhovna Rada (Parliament) of Ukraine.
The draft document on reforming rural medicine provides for the development of infrastructure and additional funding for the health care in villages. It is intended to create conditions so to engage physicians and health care personnel for work in rural areas where more than 13 million Ukrainians or 30% of the population currently live.
More than 13 million Ukrainians living in villages need better access to high quality health care services. Currently, low quality of medical care in rural areas is caused, in particular, by the lack of effective health care infrastructure and skilled medical personnel.
The Draft Law provides for the construction of additional ambulance stations, with the possibility of accommodation of the physician's family, purchase of motor vehicles for physicians to be able to travel between villages, as well as offering an opportunity to get an education and improve qualification.
"The current condition is frightful. Only 17% of medical and obstetrical stations and ambulance stations are provided with transport vehicles. There is a lack of equipment, medicines, and medical personnel in a part of medical and obstetrical stations. We pay very high price for the slowdown of the health care reform", the President of Ukraine noted during a meeting on rural health care development.
In addition, the draft law lays down the basis for developing "telemedicine" so that physicians are able to take advice from colleagues using video communication. For this purpose, it is provided to have Internet in all villages, even in the most remote ones, within the framework of health care infrastructure development.
The amount of UAH 4 billion has been already provided for in the budget for the development of health care in rural areas. In addition, the Government included an extra amount of UAH 1 billion for the development of health care in villages in 2018.
"We, as the society, have to ensure the accessibility of medical care in the entire territory of the country. That will make us a strong country where you can live and be healthy anywhere. The allocated funds are a guarantee that each Ukrainian will receive high-quality medical care in any place of the country", acting Minister of Health of Ukraine Doctor Uliana Suprun noted.
The draft law on the improvement of accessibility and quality of health care services in rural areas supplements the draft laws on changing the model of financing health care system, which draft laws were earlier initiated by the Government, and comprises a part of the health care reform. The package of Draft Laws No. 6327 and No. 6604 launching the reform of health care system financing, as well as the Presidential Draft Law No. 7117 providing for the improvement of accessibility and quality of health care services in rural areas will be considered still at the current Parliamentary session.
"We may not delay the health care reform anymore. It is also a component of the national security of the state. A considerable part of the Ukrainian people is deprived of the right to receive high quality health care services because of the crusty and absolutely ineffective Soviet system", Petro Poroshenko noted.
The health care reform has already been supported by the President of Ukraine, Prime Minister of Ukraine, representatives of the Ukrainian Government, as well as by 72% Ukrainian citizens as is proved by the results of studies.
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