Olena Limakova: State healthcare funding needs to reach 8-10% of GDP

Businessmen – on business environment – Olena Limakova, Sandoz Ukraine

depositphotos / AndreyPopov


The question whether Ukraine is on the right path, is complex and not that easy. I’d like to share my thoughts that can help analyze the current situation, with VoxUkraine readers.  These are my thoughts as a Ukrainian citizen, not the position of my employer. There is a range of markers we can analyze in order to define the direction Ukraine is going in.

The first marker is the development of small business and new businesses (startups) with intellectual investments. It shows whether an individual can easily fulfill their potential and whether the state supports new ideas and technologies. 

The second important marker is the export statistics compared to other countries. The export volume and its items (resources, products, services, technologies or other intellectual property) show how competitive local products are. 

Independent and effective judicial system is the marker that shows the absence of corruption and the efforts of the government in protecting the rights of citizens and companies. To learn more about it, take a look at the data of the Council of Europe and the Venice Commission. I also look through the results of judges interviewing within the project “Strengthening Independence, Effectiveness and Competence of Judiciary in Ukraine” and check media for the accounts on cases of criminal liability for encroachment on the independence of judges under Art. 376 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.

Level of tourism development shows how popular the country and its culture are on a global level, how well-developed its tourist infrastructure is, how competent is the country in ensuring the safety of the tourists within its borders.  

Independent media guarantee the diversity of views and ensure the objectivity of the coverage of current events and processes, focusing public opinion on the relevant issues and searching for the way to solve them. 

State healthcare funding and supporting innovations in the sphere indicate whether the state cares about the longevity and quality of life of its citizens. In my opinion, state healthcare funding needs to grow to the EU average: 8-10% of GDP. 

Education reform and education funding is a marker of the state’s readiness to invest in its future in the long term. 

Attitude towards people with disabilities, meaning the accessibility of the inclusive education and employment and how active people with disabilities are in public life. 

How active the civil society is, shows  the involvement of society in the decision-making process, the level of trust in state and non-state institutions, as well as the awareness of each citizen of their influence. Indicators of civil society activism are the turnout, the number of political parties created on the basis of shared values, the number of NGOs in various fields.

Philanthropy development is an indicator of conscious use of material assets for the benefit of culture, education and art. 

Level of environmental awareness shows that not only does society use the Earth’s resources, but also cares about the planet and treats its other inhabitants with respect. In my opinion, we need to implement educational environmental programs starting with kindergartens. It is also necessary to update legislation on the maintenance of domestic animals, to reduce or prohibit the production of fur clothing, prohibit the animal circuses, the use of disposable products, plastic products. I can judge the level of environmental awareness from the place environmental issues take in the consciousness of an average Ukrainian, my fellow citizens’ readiness to contribute to environmental protection: sort the garbage, reduce water and electricity consumption and use their cars less often. 

Finally, I always pay attention to the positive vibes of cities and peoples’  mood. You can feel the vibe of the city as soon as you enter it: colors, sounds, architecture, cultural event, live communication. If you feel in sync with the country you were born in, the country you live in, it means this country is on the right path. The mood of people is quite easy to determine, too. Look how they start their day. Is there hope and meaning in a cup of coffee people drink while surrounded by their family?  What are morning newscasts about? How often do you see people in public transport smile? What do people do after work? How much time can they devote to their self-development, communication with their children and friends?  

In last five years I have seen positive change in Ukraine by the markers listed above. People tend to want more and fast, but we need to keep in touch with reality. I believe in the importance of  irreversibility and consistency of changes, as well as increasing their pace.

Disclaimer: The article was created within the joint project of VoxUkraine and UNIC – the initiative for businesses aiming for transparency. We believe words have power, and ideas have meaning. UA1908715353

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