Zero Corruption Talk: Transparent and Accountable Healthcare System in Ukraine for times of COVID-19

Ukraine has faced the challenging times of the pandemic with a medical reform underway. The urgent issues of healthcare reform, the pandemic and the international support have been addressed by the speakers during the discussion “Zero Corruption Talk: Transparent and Accountable Healthcare System in Ukraine for Times of COVID-19”. 

Deputy Director General for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement of the European Commission Katarina Mathernova took an opportunity to congratulate Ukraine on handling the challenges of the pandemic and flattening the curve by prompt actions and cooperation with WHO. At the same time she stressed, that EU “will continue to be partners, but we will continue to be critical partners” indicating the importance of a successful healthcare reform in Ukraine as well as transparent selection of NHS leadership.

Member of European Parliament, Vice-Chair of the Delegation to the EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Association Committee Viola von Cramon emphasized there are no oligarchs interested in healthcare and people of Ukraine deserve better healthcare and their voices should be heard, and stressed the international community should remind President of Ukraine on that money of international assistance should be used transparently. She also stated that healthcare reform has already been a big achievement, and it is worth fighting for.  

Acting head of NHS Oksana Movchan, stressed that NHS is ready to facilitate payments for proper COVID-19 response and needs support but not political or corrupt influence.

Hanna Hopko, Chairwoman of Zero Corruption Conference has praised Olya Stefanyshyna (MP) for the brave position in using her parliamentary oversight functions and attending the office of Minister Stepanov trying to broadcast the selection of head of National Health Service of Ukraine. MP Stefanyshyna stressed that Minister of Health Stepanov is using groundless argument of Covid-19 quarantine restrictions to conduct appointments of head of National Health Service of Ukraine with no transparent selection and if not appointing a high professional to this position, Ukraine will lose NHS as a body to implement the reforms. 

 Dmytro Gurin, MP called the international partners on to address the issue of a transparent procedure of selection of NHS head – the person who will manage 7% of state budget and is now being selected via secret Zoom interviews.

Arsen Zhumadilov, CEO of SE Medical Procurements stated: “We created professional and transparent institution. We are against political interference into our work”, stressing that in September Ukraine will face the situation of patients having no or limited access to medications they need.  

Founder of “Tabletochki” Olya Kudinenko expressed the concern over the government inaction regarding testing for COVID-19 the kids who are cancer patients and regarding procurement of medicine for cancer patients this year. “With additional +70% budget for oncology this year more lifes could be saved, if we lose this money we’ll lose these lives”.

Olena Shcherban, Board Member of Anti-corruption Action Centre: stressed “Minister in such dangerous time of pandemic simply neglected the necessity of procurement procedure – which fell on local doctors and activists instead of centralised action…We have already identified number of violations and fixed the problems and reported to controlling agencies, that is the reason why we need a transparent mechanism to control how money received from international partners is spent”. She believes Ukraine with the help of international partners should use this pandemic challenge to become stronger and overcome these dangerous threats. 

Hanna Hopko, Chairwoman of Zero Corruption Conference expressed strong believe that Ukraine needs “to introduce parliamentary oversight to guarantee the procedure of competition for post of the future Head of National Health Service to be transparent” and called on action to not “let corrupted guys steal our future”.  She also stressed: “Zero Corruption future is not utopia, we will gain victory over aggressor and victory over corruption”.

You can watch the full recording of the event here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1JNg5MHrAKU&t=144s

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