In recent years, Ukrainian hospitals have been losing their funding in real terms. While nominal allocations for hospitals have grown since 2013, the dollar equivalent of the funding dropped twofold. This was stated by OPPOSITION PLATFORM — FOR LIFE MP Serhiy Lovochkin in an inquiry to Prime Minister Volodymyr Hroisman.

“I demand taking a set of complex measures aimed at massive improvement in healthcare. It should include increase in budget funding of the healthcare system to at least 5 percent of GDP, no more cuts in the number of hospitals, especially in rural areas, restoration of normal operations of ambulance service, significant salary raise for the sector, elimination of medicines deficit under the state procurement program, efficient disease control measures, introduction of obligatory state social healthcare insurance, and more,” Lovochkin wrote.

The politician reminded that the level of guaranteed financing of the healthcare sector was lowered by new legislation adopted in 2017; the bill cut it from 10 percent of the national income to not less than 5 percent of the GDP. The GDP share of healthcare budget expenses was 3.3 percent in 2018 and is forecast at 3.1 percent in 2019. In addition to being gradually cut, the healthcare expense is also underfinanced. As of four months of 2019, it only saw 86 percent of planned funding.

“Ukrainian doctors lack medicines as budget expenses for procurement have been under constant cuts. According to the consolidated budget of 2013/2018, the share of funding for medicines from the total amount of funds allocated for healthcare decreased from 13% to 9.5% despite the fact it does not exceed 10% of the hospitals’ needs. As a result, people are forced to buy medicines at their own expense, while drug prices in pharmacies keep going up. Over 2013-2018, they increased by 126%, and continue rising way into 2019,” the inquiry reads.

Lovochkin also noted that the reimbursement program for population is underfunded by at least fivefold, with 1bln hryvnia allocated instead of requested 5bln, and the level of financing in the first four months of 2019 has not exceeded 17 percent of the planned amount.

“Healthcare system has become less available for citizens due to constant cuts in the number of hospitals. Between 2013 and 2018, the number of inpatient care units dropped by 26 percent, rural health posts since 2014 — by 5 percent. Specialized hospitals were cut by 22 percent, and the remaining hospitals are seeing a decrease in the number of in-patient beds,” the OPPOSITION PLATFORM — FOR LIFE MP added.