Health Reform To Deprive One-Third Of Ukrainians Of Free Medical Care - Lawmaker

Health Reform to Deprive One-Third of Ukrainians of Free Medical Care - Lawmaker

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 14th February, 2020) Some 13 million Ukrainians will be deprived of free medical care starting April as a result of a new medical reform in Ukraine, parliament member Yuriy Boyko from the Opposition Platform - For Life party said on Thursday.

The first phase of the medical reform was launched in Ukraine immediately after the new government came in in August. It was about each citizen being ascribed to a so-called district doctor and signing a contract with them. The plan is to make these doctors the go-to focal points for people to get a referral to a specialized doctor. Only in that case will the visit be payed for by the government.

"This year, the reform's framework will leave one-third of the population out of the free medical care system. Only those citizens who had signed a contract with the district doctor will be able to receive free medical assistance," Boyko was quoted as saying on the Opposition Platform For Life party's website.

According to his data, less than 30 million people of Ukraine's 42 million population have signed such contracts with district doctors. It means that should the need arise, some 13 million Ukrainians will not be able to be received by the district doctor and get a referral for a further free specialized treatment.

In Boyko's words, people are thus left with only two choices: "either treat themselves with folk remedies or pay for the hospital treatment from their pockets."

According to Health Minister Zoriana Skaletska, the second phase of the Ukrainian medical reform will begin in April. It will change the way in which specialized medical institutions are financed - money will be transferred by the government directly to the medical institution once the patient has received the treatment. Only medical institutions with appropriate equipment will be preserved for this new mode, while the rest will be reoriented.

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