Although formally reform of the primary level of medicine, according to the plan of its authors, will finish in four months, today we already have to say about failure, writes MP Serhiy Lovochkin in his blog for the Correspondent.

There were many promises. The country was convinced that the existing health care system was worthless, and therefore should be reformed. The reform was advertised as a way to solve all medical problems that would allow medical institutions to move forward to treaty relations with the national health service purchaser (the National Health Service), and patients – to choose family doctors and finally get quality and timely medical care. Doctors also were promised a new level of income.

But a year after the start of the “reform”, there is nothing promised by the authors: neither high-quality medical care for patients, nor salaries of 18-20 thousand hryvnia for doctors. In reality, health care in the first half of 2018 was funded only by 51%.

This level of funding demonstrates how much the authorities are actually able to realize their own initiatives. Out of almost two thousand doctors in the country, only five received salaries in the amount of 10 to 16 thousand hryvnia, while the average salary in health care is 6,194 hryvnia.

This money also remains inaccessible for many medical workers. As of July 1, the amount of debt on health care and social protection was 26 million hryvnia, and since the beginning of the year it increased by 76.7%.

In such a situation, the disinterestedness of the medical staff in the reform is also obvious. Therefore, even the forecast that by October 1, 20% of health facilities will work on new principles, is too optimistic.

The patients are not interested in the “reform” too. Of them, only 30% have chosen a doctor by August 1. After all, a free guaranteed package of medical services, which is provided for patients at the primary level, does not include visits of doctors to the home, emergency medical care in case of high temperature in children or angina, the number of necessary tests and examinations has been reduced by half.

The state does not fulfill its responsibilities for another “reform” – public procurement of medicines for sick people. In 2018, the State Budget provides for almost 6 billion hryvnia for these purposes, but only 9% (365.76 million hryvnia) have been disbursed from the half-year plan (3.86 billion).

 Moreover, only 62% of the medicines planned in the 2017 budget were received (quantitatively) in the regions. In monetary terms, this is only 47% of the plan.

Therefore, one of the tasks facing the future authorities is the abolition of “medical reform” in its present form. An order should be in health care, the state should ensure its proper financing. Only after that, modernization of the industry should be carried out, which will lead not to deterioration of medical services, discrediting the very idea of reform, but will really improve the medical provision of people and make the work of the physicians adequately paid.