According to perspective plans, in Ukraine we have 1375 project centres of capable AHs. Today small cities with their own peculiarities need to move towards amalgamation into hromadas, since it opens up opportunities for them to develop. This is a matter of powers, funds, resources, and, most importantly, prospects, stated Hennadii Zubko, Vice Prime Minister – Minister of Regional Development, Construction, Housing and Communal Services, at the XIII Conference of Small Cities of Ukraine.
He noted that the route map for further advancement of the decentralisation reform at the local level includes two blocks of tasks.
"First of all, further amalgamation of hromadas. There are already 731 AHs, but there still remain 130 rayons with no AH established. The task is to fill this "white spot", activating the process of amalgamation, accession to the already established AHs and accession to the cities of oblast significance. The second task is to implement priority projects, aimed at one goal – improving the quality of services and human potential development. This concerns establishment of modern ASCs, the New Educational Space, Citizens' Safety Centres, modern outpatient clinics, kindergartens and infrastructure. In case of ASCs, this is the minimum standard for provision of 60 to 300 services. As for the hub school, it must have appropriate infrastructure for providing compulsory general education services and extra-curricular education. Primary healthcare in the rural areas concerns, first of all, the introduction of telemedicine, possibility of communication between a family doctor and healthcare specialists from the rayon level and large cities. Safety functions come atop today as well. Therefore, opening of Safety Centres in hromadas, uniting both rescue and a patrol services, as well as involving emergency healthcare in these centres, is the plan that we will introduce for the next three years," said Hennadii Zubko.
He stressed that there is a strong state support in various directions to implement these projects: UAH 5 billion of subvention for the socio-economic development of certain territories; UAH 6 billion of State Fund for Regional Development; UAH 1.9 billion of subvention for the formation of AH infrastructure; UAH 5 billion of subvention for the development of healthcare in rural areas; UAH 11.5 billion of funds for local roads and other state programmes.
"Therefore, it is necessary to look for tools to implement small city development strategies. In addition, the development of the Strategy for the Development of Small Cities of Ukraine is timely. And this is the task for the Association in cooperation with other specialised associations, MinRegion, international partners. After all, our goal and purpose of the reform are to make absolutely all hromadas and cities, and not just large ones, strong," said Hennadii Zubko.
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