Open letter of support for reforms and the team of the Ministry of Health

3 February 2017

The current health care system in Ukraine dates back to more than 100 years ago. It is no longer able to face the accumulating challenges and will keep falling behind. We consider the transformation of health care in Ukraine to be one of the most important reforms for this country.

The Ministry of Health team, headed by Ulana Suprun, has been the first one to offer a comprehensive vision of the reform, based on understanding and clearly defining the problems in Ukraine’s health care system. We support this approach and the team in charge of the Ministry of Health.

In 2015, 29 percent of Ukrainian households were not able to buy the medicines they needed, while 12 percent could not afford to visit a doctor [1].

According to the World Bank, patients provide 46 per cent of all expenditures on health care in Ukraine. This indicator is much higher than in Eastern European (15-35 percent) and the EU countries (13 percent). State expenditures on health care amounted to more than UAH 70 billion (3 percent of GDP) in 2016. Therefore, patients had to pay more than UAH 60 billion from their pocket!

The structure of sources of expenditures on health care in selected countries, 2014

Source: World Bank

To think that Ukraine’s health care is free means to agree that all the payments by patients have to remain in the shadow. It also means that an honest doctor is a poor doctor and that a professional doctor is a corrupt one, as it requires money to follow the latest development in medicine, e. g. to subscribe to specialized journals or to visit conferences.

The health care expenditures from the state and local budgets (the money of Ukrainian taxpayers) are used inefficiently, first of all, because the primary level of health care is virtually inexistent. Most health problems should be dealt with at this primary level. It is so much easier and cheaper to prevent an illness or cure it at an early stage. The funds that are saved should be directed at increasing the quality of providing health care in complicated cases.

The Ministry has correctly indicated two biggest problems of the medicine in Ukraine in the project of the government action plan: the lack of the link between the salaries of doctors and the results of their work, as well as the almost complete lack of the primary level. Therefore, the development of the system of family doctors is planned for 2017, including their training and the implementation of the system “money follows the patient”.

The measures that the Ministry of Health plans for 2017-2020 include:

–      The development of the system of public health, namely the system of measures aimed at the prevention of diseases and the control of non-infectious diseases. The Center of Public Health is already in place, as well as the relevant Concept;

–      The increase in the availability of medicines. For this purpose, the following measures have already been implemented: the procurement of medicines, vaccines, and medical equipment through international organizations; the reimbursement of the cost of insulin, the procedure of referring prices for medicines against cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and bronchial asthma, as well as the facilitation of the state registration of medicines. The expansion of the reimbursement program to other medicines is planned, as well as other measures aimed at increasing the competition and the quality of state regulation of the pharmaceutical market;

–      The development of the emergency medical services, highly specialized care and transplantology, namely those mechanisms that are necessary to save lives in especially complicated cases;

–      The development of social and rehabilitation centers in local communities. Their creation is a step in the direction of developed countries where people with special needs can participate fully in social life.

We support this action plan. We support the team at the Ministry of Health, which designed the plan and started implementing it. We are ready to provide assistance to the Ministry team in order to facilitate the implementation of the plan.

We invite all those who care to add their signatures to this letter.

The letter has been signed by*:

  • VoxUkraine Editorial Board
  • Olga Nikolaieva, researcher at the department of policy research at Kyiv School of Economics
  • Nataliia Shapoval, vice president for policy research at Kyiv School of Economics
  • Yaroslav Kudlatskiy, researcher at the department of policy research at Kyiv School of Economics
  • Lidia Zhgyr, director of the procurement education program at Kyiv School of Economics
  • Tymofiy Mylovanov,honorary president of Kyiv School of Economics and member of the editorial board of VoxUkraine
  • Oleksa Stepaniuk, analyst at the department of policy research at Kyiv School of Economics
  • Hanna Vakhitova, professor, senior research fellow at Kyiv School of Economics
  • Inna Sovsun, vice president for public administration at Kyiv School of Economics
  • Olesia Verchenko, vice president for economics education at Kyiv School of Economics
  • Ivanna Kurtyk, vice president for finance and administration at Kyiv School of Economics
  • Vadym Bizyayev, analyst, head of the data processing center at Kyiv School of Economics
  • Larysa Krasnikova, professor at Kyiv Mohyla Academy
  • Ivetta Delikatnaya, leader of «Communicating a New Ukraine» team at the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, a councillor to the Minister of Information Policy
  • Serhiy Kandul,professor at Ruhr University
  • Dmytro Pokidin, chief economist at the National Bank of Ukraine
  • Oleksandr Zholud, member of the editorial board of VoxUkraine
  • Olena Minich, director of the department of innovation and intellectual property at the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade
  • Anastasia Leukhina, member of the expert council on reforming the Ministry of Internal Affairs, councillor of the project of the US Department of Justice, professor at Kyiv School of Economics
  • Glib Kanevskiy, expert at “Eidos” Center, director of the anti-corruption policies department
  • Leonid Prokopenko, senior architect at Renescaince Construction
  • Oksana Shklyarska,editor of the online-media “Rakurs”
  • Marta Kuzmyn, Consultant, IDG
  • Arsen Kostenko, Software Engineer Twitter Inc
  • Hlib Shamal, Project Manager at Wargaming
  • Oleksiy Opanasenko, member of parliament
  • Oleksiy Savchenko, “ARMIIA SOS”
  • Dmytro Bilko, Java-developer at SilverTree Systems
  • Volodymyr Hylchuk, manager of digital medicine projects, Into-Sana
  • Inna Shkarpova, tour guide
  • Oleksandr Samoylov, professor at music school № 10, Kyiv
  • Andriy Kyrienko, entrepreneur
  • Olena Sukhanova, anesthesiologist
  • Svitlana Musienko, partner at DLA Piper
  • Iryna Kelner, economy councillor at ТОВ “Торгова група АРС – Кераміка”
  • Oleksiy Furman, engineer, ТОВ “Компанія Клімат Інжиниринг”
  • Mykola Neskoromnyi, entrepreneur
  • Eugenia Yastrebinskaya, pensioner
  • Taras Halayda, student at TU Berlin
  • Serhiy Shcherbak, programmer at “Providna” insurance company
  • Olena Us, entrepreneur
  • Mykhailo Hrihorov, entrepreneur
  • Lidiia Povolotska, enterpreneur
  • Volodymyr Stepovyk, trade marketing specialist
  • Bohdan Malyniak, professor of finance, TNEU
  • Maryna Panchenko, student at KNTEU
  • Iryna Lysenko, art school professor
  • Viktoriia Hurochkina, professor at the National University of State Tax Service of Ukraine
  • Nataliia Sabadash, Raiffeisen Bank Aval
  • Andriy Perlov, UkrSibbank BNP Paribas Group
  • Valentyna Shevtsova-Voloshyna, an economist at “Інфракон”
  • Pavlo Kukhta, deputy head of the Strategic group of advisors to the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine
  • Sasha Borovik, BioSignal Group Corp
  • Sichkar, pensioner
  • Andriy Alita, entrepreneur
  • Halyna Skeiris, housewife
  • Ivan Burkovskiy, manager
  • Ludmila Kokhanets, journalist, volunteer
  • Luba Markovets
  • Mykhailo Beza, CEO at РА БАЇНГ ПРЕС
  • Viktor Rozhnatovskiy, PhD in economics
  • Larysa Rudenko, pensioner
  • Nataliia Tuziuk, tourist operator
  • Andriy Romania, student
  • Oksana Linnik,professor
  • Mykhailo Panko, head of a housing cooperative
  • Veronika Darmohval, manager of an exhibition hall
  • Oleksandr Tunyk, student
  • Dmytro Hostyshchev,lawyer
  • Dmytro Samofalov, professor at Odessa National Medical University
  • Inna Petrova, lawyer
  • Rodion Grushevsky
  • Vitaly Snigur
  • Constantine Shaposhnikov
  • Olga Lontska
  • Anastasia Slukhai-Domoslavska
  • Irina Kryatova
  • Oksana Zaburuyeva
  • Oksana Kachurets
  • Oksana Shabanova
  • Elvira Yanovska-Lesyshyn
  • Irina Sosyukina
  • Anton Nikolaenko
  • Taras Korshynsky
  • Raisa Chelikidi
  • Andriy Kovalchuk
  • Alexandra Laktionova
  • Lyudmila Lisovska
  • Andrew Digdalovych
  • Irina Potapova
  • Ilya Doka
  • Lina Butenko
  • Lyudmila Tresh
  • Alex Sinyuk
  • Tanya Kirou
  • Alex Pikalov
  • Irina Chepok
  • Marina Leontief
  • Victoria Kostyuchenko
  • Anna Sidorenko
  • Nazar Barabash
  • Catherine Grabko
  • Irina Chaprak
  • Olga Skorik
  • Alexander Patskan
  • Juliana Linnik
  • Nina Mas
  • Andrey Taranov
  • Larisa Hilko
  • Bogdan Malynyak
  • Oksana Gileta
  • Roman Ruvinski
  • Maxim Agryzkov, Manager
  • Anna Miller, dentist, entrepreneur
  • Ruslan Shunevych, sailor
  • Alexander Miller, entrepreneur
  • Leonid Zakrevskiy, entrepreneur
  •  Alexander Djulay, director of “GEBA”
  • Elena Tregub, Director, Economic Development and Trade
  • Zahar Pikulytskiy, entrepreneur
  • Sergei Gonchar Foundation “Parity”, Executive Director
  • Alexander Opanasenko, the Parliament, MP
  • Nikita Pidgayniy, lawyer
  • Roman Oskolkov, individual enterpreneur
  • Stanislav Korobov, scientist, PhD in Medical Science
  • N. Vnukova, pensioner
  • Alexey Chirkov, programmer
  • Lily Kraychynska, entrepreneur, deputy city council Netishyn, Khmelnytsky region.
  • Ruslan Rudomskiy, freelancer
  • Sergey Melnykovskiy
  • Larisa Kupchenko, civil servant
  • Vitaliy Protsenko, America 2030, economist, financial analyst
  • Oleksandr Khomenko, pensioner
  • Michael Onipchenko, director at  EuroExpert s.r.o.
  • Igor Gavrilenko, Assistant Professor at Poltava National Technical University named by U.Kondratyuk
  • Anton Chysnikov, Lesya Ukrainka EENU. – student
  • Galina Balabanova, NAU Associate Professor
  • Ruslan Sahanda, DigitAvia Ukraine, Project manager
  • Artem Butov, head of the NGO “Business Lymanschyna” entrepreneur
  • Sergey Zakharchenko, SPD
  • Larisa Olkhovyk, pensioner
  • Natalia Teter, DDEP fin. director
  • Igor Ostrovskiy, entrepreneur
  • Slava Vereschagin, student
  • Mikhail Starikov, Ltd. “Mashzavod” Designer
  • Alexander Romaniuk, Director of Equator Holding
  • Taras Petric, unemployed
  • Alla Bendyk, entrepreneur
  • Andrey Butenko, entrepreneur
  • Olena Sazanova, advertising copywriter
  • Sergei Kotov, chief accountant
  • Sergei Sidorenko, LLC ” Smart Lux Strategy” operator
  • Lyudmila Peletska, Ltd. “VETKORM”, Director
  • Nadezhda Melnikova, housewife
  • Natalia Yunosheva, entrepreneur
  • Natalia Sudarska, entrepreneur
  • Alexander Ostapchuk, Criminal Executive Service
  • Victor Budzinskiy pensioner
  • Elena Labunets,  “Delta Project”, engineer-designer
  • Alexander Kosovskiy not working
  • Irina Danilova, HR Manager
  • Vasil Tkachev, pensioner
  • Jeanne Zhuravko, BB ‘FPS from the hospital “DOR Accountant
  • Marina Vorobyova, psychologist
  • Larisa Pavlova, Berezivska District Library
  • Valery Tvarkovskiy pensioner
  • Vitaly Pelech, Head of Department of Surgery
  • George Ramirez, entrepreneur
  • Dmitry Miryan engineer in an international company
  • Julia Dolgopolova, designer
  • Valentin Reznikov,pensioner
  • Darya Govorun, National University “Yaroslav the Wise Law Academy of Ukraine”
  • Vladimir Dyachenko, pensioner
  • Yuriy Kulik, janitor
  • Tatiana Pronyshyn housewife on maternity leave
  • Igor Lyskovych, private entrepreneur#
  • Marina Sokolova, student, designer
  • Alex Zemlyaniy, UK Tezis attorney consultant
  • Pavel Drozd, surgeon
  • Vladyslav Chumak, Technical Coordinator
  • Alexander Kalenykov, student
  • Andrew Thomas, an employee
  • Nina Oliynyk, pensioner
  • Andriy Suprun, National Bank of Ukraine, Head of Depository Activities
  • Miroslav Holyuka, junior nurse 2KMP Lviv
  • Eugene Golovko, engineer
  • Tatiana Romanovich, pensioner
  • Elmira Poljanskaya, training center – Manager
  • Julia Grokhovskaya, National University of Water and Environmental Sciences, Associate Professor
  • Antonina Pavlyukovska housewife
  • Veronica Kreydenkova, ASE, assistant deputy
  • Andrey Kondratenko, bartender
  • Tatiana Zamorska, KPMG, director, legal practice
  • Larisa Fedorenko, pensioner
  • Victoria Shevchenko, manager
  • Veronica Poltorak, President of the Charitable Foundation “Number One”
  • Valentina Goncharova, pensioner


[1] According to the household survey by State Statistics Service of Ukraine

* Please see the Ukrainian language version for the most recent list of signatories



The authors do not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and have no relevant affiliations