Medical reform has come into force in Ukraine
Since January 1, 2018, medical reform has come into force in Ukraine - one of the main reforms of the past 2017.
Ukrainians are promised free visits to the family doctor, emergency care and childbirth, but other services will have to pay, DW writes.
Starting January 1, 2018, the principle of "going after the patient" will work for primary care professionals. For ordinary Ukrainians, this means that after the Ministry of Health announces a so-called prescriptive campaign, they must find a family doctor or therapist or pediatrician for their child and sign an agreement with him.
In case of moving or poor perception of the quality of medical services a person will be able to enter into an agreement with another doctor.
Under such conditions, the previous agreement will be automatically canceled. If necessary, Ukrainians can consult specialists where they see fit - they will not need to see a doctor at the place of registration or stay. These services will be free of charge - agreements will be needed to determine compensation for physicians.
The Ministry of Health has made appropriate calculations - the state will pay the doctor annually 370 hryvnias per year for one patient, without taking into account the relevant age coefficients.
From 2019, they plan to increase this amount to 450 UAH annually. Instead, calculations for the secondary and tertiary care units are still ongoing and, as the ministry expects, will take another two years to complete.
After that the patient will sign agreements with the medical institutions, which will specify the list of services and medicines, which can be obtained for free, and the choice of the hospital will be possible without taking into account the place of residence or registration. However, it will only be possible to use a specialist doctor after the introduction of the reform after the appointment of a family doctor, therapist or pediatrician.
If, contrary to the decision of the primary care physician, the patient will refer to a specialist specialist on his own, he will have to pay for his services independently. No additional charges.
Despite the fact that medical services will now be formally provided on an insurance basis, the Ukrainians will not make any additional payments for this. The reform will create a National Health Service (NHS) that will actually act as an insurer. The money to cover the expenses will come to this financial institution from the state budget. In fact, those taxes paid by Ukrainian citizens will be kind of "insurance premiums" that will go to their health care.
Previously, the state kept medical institutions, but now the budget funds will go to purchase from medical institutions their services. It is envisaged that this will make the system, which was developed in a planned economy, in line with market realities.
In addition, the state will pay for services not only to state and municipal, but also to private medical institutions. According to the authors of the reform, it should force medical institutions to compete for patients, eliminate the need for financing hospitals that do not have the load to which they are designed, and give freedom to doctors who can provide their own services as private entrepreneurs.
The free services are intended to include emergency, primary and palliative care. This means that all consultations with family doctors, pediatricians and therapists, urgent surgeries, and care and anesthetics for the seriously ill and dead will remain free.
The list will include specialized and highly specialized medical care, medical rehabilitation, medical care for children up to 16 years of age, as well as women in childbirth.
Some services will still be officially paid. The Ministry of Health predicts that it will be primarily about aesthetic surgery and dentistry except in cases of emergency.
In the future, patients will also experience the introduction of the eHealth eHealth system. Thanks to it, medical cards of Ukrainians will be electronic, and it will be possible to register for a visit to the doctor online.