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04.09.2006

Human rights group calls for public councils to work on reforming the ailing health service

   

In light of the fact that we are constantly approached by people seeking legal assistance on medical matters, the Kharkiv Working Group of the International Society for Human Rights Ukrainian Section [ISHR-US] has decided to broaden its mandate.

Given that: health care in Ukraine has in no way been reformed and remains extremely poorly funded with the services as a result not fulfilling their duties;

Results of sociological surveys indicate that an improvement in medical care is of great concern to the Ukrainian public;

None of the authorities, nor the politicians voted into the Verkhovna Rada according to their party candidate lists consider reform of the medical sphere to be a high-priority task;

the Kharkiv Working Group of the International Society for Human Rights Ukrainian Section is proposing that public supervisory councils be created attached to regional departments of health care, regional hospitals, central district hospitals and in military registration and conscription offices, with the following tasks.

Informing the wider public about the state of the medical sector, financial expenditure, amendments to legislation;

Monitoring the level of access of the population to medical care in cities and the regions, promoting equal opportunities in urban and rural areas;

«European Ukraine – a European level of medical care» – bringing this catchphrase into effect by exerting influence on all branches of power;

Creating the legal foundations through amendments to current legislation of conditions for mutual responsibility of doctors and patients in a new healthcare system;

As the ultimate goal – to effect change in Ukrainian legislation on health care, while the immediate task is to ensure that medical institutions observe current legislation – «The Fundamental principles of medical legislation in Ukraine», the relevant articles of the Laws of Ukraine «On employment», «On information», etc;.

To protect doctors from administrative pressure, unlawful financial profit, to protect ambulance staff from professional risks; to achieve an improvement in the conditions of their work, to raise salaries in view of the many-faceted and often unpredictable risks faced and bring salaries of these workers into line with international standards;

To make the medical community aware of the rights of patients and world standards in this area;

To monitor violations of medical legislation in the army, to ensure that young lads with medical problems are not taken for military duty into the Armed Forces of Ukraine, to ensure qualified medical care and decent medicine for military servicemen in the Armed Forces, and to keep the public informed about the resolution of such issues;

To monitor violations of medical legislation in closed institutions (places of deprivation of liberty, psychiatric hospitals, etc). Where necessary to insist on amendments to current legislation;

To monitor the availability and price of medicines and whether these are accessible to patients.

The highest priority task in legal regulation of the healthcare system will be to draw up and pass a Law of Ukraine «On mandatory medical insurance», «On the creation of a system of hospital funds», and to have the Law «On approving Rules and Procedure for registration of narcotics, psychotropic substances and precursor chemicals in state and municipal healthcare institutions of Ukraine» revoked as not promoting the health of the Ukrainian public.

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