How UAH 67 million intended for procurement of protection stuff for doctors wait for the “split-up” in the Ministry of Health

Originally published in Ukrainska Pravda

Yesterday, the diagnose COVID-19 was confirmed for 4 doctors from Ternopil region.

Two of them are family doctors, who examined patients with symptoms.

Doctors were infected due to the fact that healthcare workers all over Ukraine still do not have basic protection equipment against the virus. Namely: suits, masks, gloves.

All this equipment could already be in hospitals and protect doctors, who have become soldiers of the new war today and the first who will be attacked by the virus.

On February 19, previous government of Oleksiy Honcharuk approved the decision, according to which they should have purchased 1.1 million masks, 125.000 insulation suits and nearly 150.000 respirators.

But the contract for supply and purchase of drugs and items has been lying on the table of the Minister of Health Ilya Yemets for three weeks.

With the help of this document UAH 67 million could be used for the purchase of necessary tests and, the most important thing, protection of doctors and healthcare workers.

This is money that has been saved by international organization during procurement of cancer drugs. The international agency has procured everything that Ukraine ordered, but has agreed on additional discounts for the country, and has received huge savings.

These saved 67 million by previous government were partly allocated for procurement of necessary means to fight coronavirus and protect healthcare workers. 

In order to buy this list a few weeks ago the only necessary is the Minister’s signature.

But the Minister of Health Ilya Yemets is in no hurry to sign this contract, because he does not want the international organization to procure all these stuff. He wants his own “watchdogs” to do it.

He has already tried to place one of those, who has been previously accused of theft, into the state enterprise Medical Procurements.

But here the Minister had a problem. The decision of the previous Cabinet of Ministers stated that procurement should be held through international organization.

Now, Yemets either has to say goodbye to 67 million without possibility of “split-up”, or change it all again with the help of decision of the Cabinet of Ministers.

At the same time, while the Ministry of Health is thinking about how to “split-up” 67 million, thousands of healthcare workers are waiting for protection they need to save their lives and to save our lives.

At one time, the SBI initiated the criminal proceeding regarding “defective” body armor in the army.

It is interesting whether law enforcement officers will initiate proceedings against “their” Minister now. Because the suit for the doctor today is like the body armor for the military men at the frontline.

And they are not just defective. There are none suits now. Because they cannot think of the way how to “split-up” 67 million UAH.

Oleksandra Ustinova, Member of Parliament from the party Holos, specially for UP.Life

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