Healthcare Reform Improves Hospital Care

Speeches Shim

Tuesday, June 15, 2021
The Sumy Central District Hospital uses new equipment and personnel to improve the quality of the facility.
Photo courtesy of the USAID Health Reform Support Activity

USAID helps healthcare facilities implement health financing reforms that provide free health services

In April 2020, Ukraine launched a state-guaranteed medical benefits package, known as the Program of Medical Guarantees, as part of specialized healthcare reforms. Under the program, the National Health Service of Ukraine (NHSU) pays providers for medical services and medicines via direct contracts with them.

Initially, facility managers didn’t fully understand their role in this new system, and the contracting process by which facilities  sign-up with the NHSU as not-for-profit enterprises. They also needed guidance on the requirements for computerizing digital health records, increasing the quality of their healthcare professionals, and modernizing medical equipment. 

To answer the many outstanding questions, USAID’s Health Reform Support (HRS) activity, which is co-funded by UKaid, helped the Ministry of Health and the NHSU conduct outreach consultations with more than 1,825 specialized healthcare facilities in 19 cities across Ukraine. They shared critical information and guidance to help healthcare facilities understand the steps required to contract with the NHSU. For example, the facilities must identify the specific medical services they want to provide,  and their area of specialization. This involved choosing from a menu of medical packages, including cardiocare or diabetes care, each with its own minimum requirements for equipment and personnel.

Dr. Volodymyr Potseluyev, Chief Physician at Sumy Central District Hospital, participated in USAID’s HRS-led consultations, which helped him see new potential in his facility.

“The information we obtained during the consultations enabled my hospital to successfully complete contracts to provide government-funded medical services to patients. To meet NHSU contracting requirements, we hired highly qualified specialists, demonstrated good working conditions, bought new equipment, and identified areas for further development,” explained Dr. Potseluyev.

The consultations helped the Sumy Central District Hospital to focus their efforts and to ultimately contract with the NHSU to provide 16 packages of medical services, effectively becoming a health care reform leader in the region. Today the hospital can treat 300-400 patients daily, which is 20 percent more than before the changes, at no cost to the patient. It now serves as a fully functioning neurological center with 11 highly qualified neurologists and a neurosurgeon to care for stroke patients.

USAID’s support for outreach consultations assured the success of the Program of Medical Guarantees by equipping healthcare clinics with the understanding and resources to upgrade their facilities and raise the quality of patient care. Since the program’s launch, the NHSU has transferred approximately UAH 16 billion (~$550 million) to more than 1,600 healthcare facilities, enabling them to provide free specialized healthcare services to patients across Ukraine.

Last updated: January 14, 2022

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