Today, during the round table — «Emergency Exit out of the Medical Crisis in Ukraine», nearly 6 billion UAH were «found» in the state budget for treating patients with diseases. The Minister of Health, MPs, patients and representatives of different state ministries and departments took part in this event.
«There will be an average 60% rise in prices on drugs, due to the collapse of the state currency and introduction of VAT on drugs, — states Dmytro Sherembey, the Chairman of Charitable Foundation «Patients of Ukraine». — If to take into account the fact that the Ministry of Heath’ budget was approved while the exchange rate for UAH was 8 UAH per dollar, 60% of people that would have received treatment will die. People with hepatitis will die, for whom last year we had successfully advocated the state-funded treatment. Hemodialysis recipients will also die, as they are not able to live a single week without this vital procedure. Millions of Ukrainians will die this year, if today we will not come out with an idea of an emergency exit from this catastrophic situation”.
On March 27, 2014, by the means of adopting the Law on Amendments to the 2014 State Budget, practically every position of state budget’s programs was reduced in order to cover the shortfall of the state budget. However, experts point out that some of the budget programs were not cut in the way that it could and should be done.
The participants of the round table consider that the way out of the present medical catastrophic situation, could be the reduction in financing unprotected budget expenses on some programs. It is possible to cut 3,5 billion UAH in the general state fund. Special fund economy might amount to 2,5 billion cut. Such actions could fully cover the state shortage for drugs procurement, which now equals to 4,2 billion UAH.
For example, it was proposed to reduce the Ministry’s of Revenues and Charges unprotected expenses from 4,6 billion to 1 billion. This will economize the expenditures for equipment, inventory, payments for services (except municipal expenses), capital expenditures, etc.
“Human life and health is the primary value in our country, therefore I, as the Minister of Health, will put every effort towards insuring that the redistribution of costs on treatment is made. I will do my best to prevent the budget deficit in medicine, — said Oleh Musii at the roundtable. — At the Cabinet of Ministers meeting, I will propose the changes to the state budget, appeared to be now”.
According to the NGOs’ information, there is a 4,2 billion UAH shortfall for procurement of drugs for seriously ill patients. It is worth mentioning, that there was an initiative according to which funds for seriously ill patient’s treatment were to be redistributed from the raise in excise taxes on tobacco and alcohol products. In fact, government had raised the excise taxes, however they have not transferred these money to finance the drugs procurement. This caused huge resentment in patients’ community, as everyday 1607 people die in Ukraine that could be saved.
“It is quite bearable sum for Ukrainian budget, — states Valeriy Dubil, MP, Deputy Head of Parliamentary Budget Committee. — Even in the mode of taught economy, there will be a possibility to redistribute funds for treatment of seriously ill Ukrainians from other budget programs. We will propose the Government to reduce the unprotected expenditures of the general state fund, especially those, which were reduced not in the amount they could be reduced, that were conducted according to the Law dated 27 March. We had studied the budget thoroughly, and had found 65 state budget programs, in terms of which we propose to reduce state expenses. This will enable us to reallocate 6 billion UAH, in state budget, that will totally cover the deficit for treating seriously ill Ukrainians. I would like to underline, that due to the very taught internal and external political situation, we have not considered the reduction of expenses from the state defense establishment, national army, etc.” — said the MP.
“Such redistribution has to happen now, as the state tenders for drug procurement will start very soon. If the problem of deficit for drug procurement does not get solved in the nearest future, the termination of treatment courses will take place at the end of the year, which not only means death for people living with AIDS, but it also means dramatic spread of HIV” — said Volodymyr Zhovtyak, Chairman of the Coordination Council of All-Ukraininan Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS.
The round table had resulted in joint signed letter of patients and MPs to the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. In this letter they had urged Prime-Minster of Ukraine, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, to review, as soon as possible, their suggestions for covering the state budget hortfall for 2014 drug procurement and to express the Government’s point of view on the ways to solve this problem.
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