After the rate of COVID-19 cases went down and immunization started, the administration yet again lost its interest in healthcare. The situation in the sector is returning to pre-quarantine period when it was underfunded chronically, leading to its eventual failure. This was stated by OPPOSITION PLATFORM – FOR LIFE MP Serhiy Lovochkin on Healthcare Workers’ Day of Ukraine.

“In 2020, when the government feared the epidemic, it agreed, under the pressure of the political opposition, to increase the funding of healthcare up to 4.2 percent of GDP. It was not the 5 percent as prescribed by the law but at least closer to the figure. However, this year healthcare can only hold out hopes for maximum 3.8 percent of GDP in the consolidated budget. Underfunding of healthcare compared to its real needs is estimated at 40 billion hryvnia at least,” the politician said.

He cited data that in April 2021 the payments to all healthcare providers who entered contracts with the National Healthcare Service were cut by 20.9 percent compared to March, and by another 11 percent in May compared to April. This leaves healthcare facilities with at least 30 percent decrease in funding over this spring. The cuts affect not only coronavirus expenses; designated medical care was funded by 27.7 percent less in April compared to March, and by 4.2 percent less in May.

“The risks of ruining Ukrainian healthcare system rise exponentially. Average monthly salary in healthcare was 11,600 hryvnia in the first months of 2021; it’s obvious you can’t retain good professionals with such money. Especially given the fact the salaries are not paid timely,” the MP said.

Lovochkin added the wage arrears to healthcare workers rose by 157 percent in January – April this year, having topped 71 million hryvnia.

“Over the past year, our healthcare system lost 5,1 thousand doctors, which is fivefold more than in previous six years. With these rates in place, we will lose the entire system fast. And while the government kind of is able to fight current epidemic off, for the reforms of previous six years have not ruined completely what had been built in earlier decades, any crisis of this sort in the future will knock it down. Therefore, I sent a request to the prime minister last week demanding to take measures and put this crisis in healthcare to an end. We insist that funding of the sector reaches the 5 percent of GDP as prescribed by the law for we care about Ukrainian people’s fate in five or ten years,” Lovochkin summed up.