Not Taking a Step Without Suprun. Quick Check of Another Interview of Borys Todurov

Although the topic was the coronavirus disease, the surgeon still found fault with the ex-minister

Authors:

Not very long ago, we fact-checked Borys Todurov’s interview on ZIK TV channel and we found hardly any truth in what he said. Did he use different rhetoric during his recent appearance for Politeka? Not really.

During the first 10 minutes of the broadcast, the surgeon provided quite reasonable and correct commentary on the precautionary measures in relation to the coronavirus pandemic as well as practical tips on how to protect yourself and boost your immunity.

But when he began talking about the state of health care, his rhetoric changed dramatically from neutral to negative, and he began to manipulate and lie. 

Below is a detailed analysis of his words.

Manipulation

“Suprun  (must be held accountable – ed.) in the first place. Suprun. With all her deputies who destroyed the Sanitary and Epidemiological Service system. And the people who made the decision to destroy this service. They should be in jail today.”

14:13 – 14:31

In reality, in 2014 there was a decision to establish the State Service of Ukraine on Food Safety and Consumer Protection. The functions of the State Sanitary and Epidemiological Service were also to be handed over to this service. This happened before Suprun was appointed acting minister of health. Furthermore, such decisions are outside the competence of the MoH.

But as a result of a court ruling in 2017, the Government reversed the decision on reorganization and decided to abolish the State Sanitary and Epidemiological Service since its functions were performed by the Ministry of Health, the State Labor Service and the State Service on Food and Consumer Protection.

In addition, the Public Health Center is now responsible for combating epidemics. 

False

“There is already a decree and resolution by the Cabinet of Ministers’ that the Service needs to be restored.”

15:28 – 15:35

There is no such government decree or resolution.

The NSDC addressed the Cabinet with a proposal to revive the sanitary and epidemiological service solely with regard to fighting epidemics. However, the functions of the sanitary and epidemiological service are performed the Public Health Center.

Additionally, on March 11, the Government appointed Viktor Liashko Chief State Sanitary Doctor but the revival of the SES never came under discussion.

False

“The money would be channeled through the NHSU. But the NHSU says to these medical institutions: you must fulfill certain conditions in order to conclude an agreement with us. You should have the staff capacity like European clinics with an equipment list such as in Germany. They set these conditions.”

22:07 – 22:25

To receive funding from the NHSU, a medical institution must be autonomous (transformed into a municipal non-profit enterprise), have a valid license, be connected to the e-Health system and sign an agreement with the National Health Service of Ukraine. The NHSU concludes contracts with all institutions that meet the requirements approved by the government resolution, but these are not the requirements Todurov is talking about. 

The overall level of the medical institutions’ compliance with all NHSU requirements in Ukraine is nearly 90%. This means that the majority of medical institutions are ready to sign contracts with the NHSU. You can find out more about your health care facility’s readiness by following the link (Institution’s readiness assessment table). 

Manipulation

“A heart surgery, our National Health Service estimated it at UAH 22 thousand. An open heart surgery. UAH 22 thousand.”

22:49 – 23:00

Todurov is trying to say that this cost is low. For comparison, in the previous material we already fact-checked Todurov’s statement about the cost of such an operation being UAH 250 thousand.

First of all, the Cabinet’s resolution (page 6) directly reads that the price does NOT include the cost of medicines, medical devices and consumables.

Secondly, the Amosov Institute representatives believe that the cost of such an operation is about UAH 100-120 thousand, but again, it is the cost that INCLUDES that of medicines, medical devices and consumables, which are then provided by the state and not by a hospital or patient. 

False

“Here is our institute, we have a budget. With the salaries, medicines, utilities, with everything, right. So here is our entire budget for 3 years, and we perform 6 thousand surgeries; today there are people in Ukraine who receive their salary as bonuses.”

29:20 – 29:35

In 2016 and 2017, the Heart Institute (Kyiv City Heart Center) did indeed perform about 6,000 surgeries each year. For a total of 3 years, during 2016-2018, the Institute received UAH 1.14 billion from the state budget’s general and special funds.

Making this comparison, Todurov hints at the bonus paid to chairman of the board of NJSC Naftogaz of Ukraine Andriy Kobolev, who in 2018, for instance, received UAH 286.5 million as a bonus. Firstly, it is less than the Institute’s annual budget. Secondly, it is incorrect to compare the Institute’s budget with Kobolev’s income, since the premium of UAH 261 million for winning in the Stockholm arbitration court was stated in the Naftogaz report, i.e. this money is not from the state budget.

False

“We have not even one drug from the list of recommended drugs. Today Ukraine has no medicines that the Chinese or Americans recommend for the treatment of coronavirus.”

32:05 – 32:15

Firstly, there is currently no specific treatment for Covid-19. Only symptomatic treatment is a common practice in the world. In addition, both the Chinese and Americans are still only conducting research on the potential drugs. 

Secondly, the Government’s list contains paracetamol recommended by the WHO. It also has controversial ibuprofen, with regard to which the organization eventually said it had no arguments against and it could be used as prescribed by the doctor.

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