What has changed over one year of healthcare reform?
One year has passed since the voting for the healthcare reform in the Verkhovna Rada. The Ministry of Health reported about the changes in the healthcare system this year.
A year ago, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine voted in favour of the Law “On State Financial Guarantees for Healthcare of the Population” and thus gave “green light” to the reform of the healthcare financial system. In December, this law was signed by the President of Ukraine.
Since January 2018, the Ministry of Health has begun implementing changes in healthcare sector, namely, the first stage of the reform – a new mechanism for financing primary healthcare institutions. After all, family doctors, therapists and pediatricians are physicians, whom Ukrainians should contact the first.
National Health Service
In a record time, on 30 March 2018, the National Health Service of Ukraine, the central executive authority, which implements the basic principle of the healthcare reform of “money following the patient” was created. The National Health Service has already concluded contracts with 623 communal, private medical institutions and doctors-private entrepreneurs, who provide primary healthcare. Over four months, the National Health Service paid UAH 1.6 billion for services in these medical institutions at a single tariff.
Free choice of doctor
The national campaign for the selection of family doctors, physicians and pediatricians began in April 2018. For the first time, Ukrainians were able to freely choose a doctor, without referring to the place of residence. In the course of seven months, almost 20 million Ukrainians signed a declaration on the choice of their doctors.
New salaries of medical specialists
Medical institutions that have entered into an agreement with the National Health Service have received financial freedom and can independently dispose of their budget, they are not limited by tariff net or personnel structure. This allowed the chief doctors to review their salary policies. Salaries of junior medical personnel have also significantly increased.
Reform in 2019
What healthcare changes will Ukrainians face next year?
From January 2019, all communal healthcare institutions in the country, that employ family doctors, physicians and pediatricians, will start paying for services under contracts with the National Health Service.
In 2018, medical institutions can only sign a declaration on the choice of a doctor in the electronic healthcare system and enter into contracts with the National Health Service. In 2019, family doctors, physicians and pediatricians will switch to electronic document circulation.
The next stage after the reform of the primary link – the “Free Diagnostics” programme – will begin in the second half of 2019. It will comprise 80% of the patient’s need for diagnosis from a family doctor, physician or pediatrician, the most necessary free medical research and tests, consultations of highly specialised doctors.
One more major task faced by the MOH and the National Health Service is the development of a state programme of medical guarantees for 2020, which will be approved for the first time along with the state budget for 2020.
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