OPPOSITION PLATFORM – FOR LIFE MP Serhiy Lovochkin demands that Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal provides full and timely funding of healthcare and social protection systems from the state budget, Lovochkin wrote in his deputy inquiry.

“I demand urgent and comprehensive measures aimed at timely and full-volume funding of all state budget-2021 items related to healthcare system operations and social protection of Ukrainian citizens. Please inform me on the results of the measures in terms as provided by law,” Lovochkin wrote.

The MP reminded that as of the first six months of 2021, the expenses of the general fund of the state budget were underfunded by 44.6 billion hryvnia, or 7.4 percent of the period plan. This resulted from inefficient budget planning by the Finance Ministry and the Cabinet, as well as from poor budget discipline of budget spending agencies. According to Lovochkin, the non-performance of budget expenses affected the items that ensure social protection of citizens and their health if funded properly.

“I am convinced that underfunding of healthcare system is totally unacceptable in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, in five months of 2021, healthcare expenses of the general fund of the state budget were underfunded by over 13 percent, or 9 billion hryvnia from the period plan,” the politician said.

Lovochkin added that the healthcare guarantees program, which is by 25 percent lower than real need as estimated by experts, is underfunded by 3.5 percent or 1.8 billion hryvnia from the period plan. Some budget programs in healthcare are facing the same problem with funding. Public Health and Anti-Epidemic program is underfunded by 18 percent, Vaccination for Population program by 41 percent, Specialized and Highly Specialized Medical Aid by 23 percent, etc.

“Amid the abovementioned funding problems in the healthcare system, media and social media publish numerous reports on salary cuts for healthcare workers, the rise in the wage arrears, and larger labor migration of Ukrainian healthcare workers abroad,” the MP said.

Funding of many social expenses and economy support expenses is unsatisfactory as well. Education is underfunded by 9.8 percent, culture and sports by 28.8 percent, social protection for labor disability by 32 percent, social protection for Chornobyl veterans by 33 percent, social protection for disabled persons by 38 percent, and economy support by 32 percent.

“I would like to stress that such approaches of the Cabinet to funding of social protection and healthcare sectors is irresponsible, especially given the risk of the new wave of COVID-19 in August-September this year,” Lovochkin said.