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    January 21, 2016

    Ukraine to Cancel Free Healthcare and Close "Extra" Hospitals

    Translated by Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ
    21st January, 2016

    In the near future Kiev will cancel free medicine in Ukraine. The Ministry of Health will present a reform strategy and will announce the tariffs for paid medicine.

    This was reported by the Ukrainian edition of "Vesti".

    The reform implies that only a minimal amount of free services will remain, the rest will have involve payment. A trip to the doctor, for example, will cost 100-150 USD.

    The strategy of reform proposes to repeal article 49 of the Constitution, which guarantees Ukrainians free medicine.

    "The first thing that was suggested was to issue a minimum insurance package that will be paid for by the state budget. It will be available to all. But for seniors, children, students and disabled people there will be a lot more money available than for the able. Those who are employed should be insured by employers. In addition, they will be able to buy health insurance," said one of the advocates of reform, Chairman of CF "Patients of Ukraine" Dmytro Sherembey.

    At a minimum the package will include simple tests and vaccinations, the cost of treatment of diabetes, HIV and mental illness.

    "Ambulances and delivery will also be free for everyone. But dentistry, non-urgent surgery — all paid, I see no other way," said another member of the expert Council on reform, Andriy Huk.

    On the agenda is another component of the reform — reducing the number of hospitals.

    "Why does one city need a city and regional maternity ward? They can grow in size, and some can vacate so that, for example, private clinics can be opened. This will create specialized centres. Maybe you come with pain in the ear, but it turns out you have a swollen lymph node and you need to enter another specialist clinic, for example. There will be vouchers for travel from one hospital to another or for finding another solution," said the officials.
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