The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine at an extraordinary meeting on March 30 voted to appoint Maxim Stepanov to the post of Minister of Health. Then 246 deputies cast their votes for the corresponding decision, 24 channel writes.
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For more than two months, as Minister of Health, Maxim Stepanov fell into a series of scandals that were actively discussed by the public.
Ghost costumes, or what is known about the purchase of PPE for doctors
Most of all, the new minister received criticism for purchasing protective suits for doctors at almost twice the price.
Activists and deputies say that the Ministry of Health could buy costumes from a Ukrainian manufacturer for 245 hryvnias apiece. However, the ministry re-voted the tender and found a winner with a price almost 2 times higher than the previous one – 488 UAH for a disposable suit.
When asked about the choice of protective suits, the head of the Ministry of Health answered reporters: "These are not just suits of a different quality. There is a costume painter, but there is a biological protection suit. I think that you distinguish that these are completely different products."
Instead of 22 million hryvnias, Ukraine paid 34.8 million hryvnias for costumes. In addition, they ordered a smaller quantity: instead of 90 thousand – 71 thousand.
The arrival of the SIZ was delayed for two weeks, and for this they began to be called "ghost costumes." The deputy from the “Voice” Olga Stefanishina assures that the doctors never received all the promised costumes.
One of the biggest scandals is the purchase of PPE for almost the price of almost twice as much / Photo: Getty Images
Conflict with the NSZU and the competition for "their" person
Hurry competition for the post of head of the NSSU
On May 22, according to activists, the head of the Ministry of Health decided to appoint the head of the National Health Service of Ukraine (NHA), despite the results of the previous competition and three winners. The deadline for submitting documents continued until May 27, and on June 2, Stepanov interviewed candidates.
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Among the conditions – at least three years of experience in senior positions in the field of state financial guarantees. However, this cannot be implemented, since the law on state financial guarantees was approved in the fall of 2017 and it is not three years old. The first head of the NSZU, Oleg Petrenko, called this selection a farce.
Stepanov accused Stefanishina of disrupting selection
Despite the minister’s promises about the transparency and honesty of the contest, Maxim Stepanov refused to conduct any live broadcast.
The People’s Deputy from "Voice" Olga Stefanishina tried to shoot live on how the selection for the head of the NSZU goes. The head of the Ministry of Health accused the deputy of trying to disrupt the competition and said that this puts the participants in discriminatory conditions, because some candidates may be better prepared to answer his questions after the interview was broadcast.
The former head of the Ministry of Health, Ulyana Suprun, said that Maxim Stepanov "is trying to appoint a manual person to the post of head of the NSZU and this is done through incomprehensible competitive procedures and the creation of artificial obstacles for people from outside and experts of the NSZU."
To this end, very “specific” conditions for submitting documents were invented, and the whole process is carried out quietly and in a hurry,
– wrote earlier Suprun.
New parts became known after selection.
At a recent briefing, Stepanov said that the head of the National Health Service of Ukraine (NHA) is selected for the duration of quarantine. At the beginning of the selection, such information was not reported to the Ministry of Health.
The situation with the appointment of the head of the NSZU was even reacted in the European Parliament.
“Mr. Stepanov seems to be in a hurry and does not miss the opportunity to take advantage of the crisis caused by COVID 19,” said European Parliament Deputy Viola von Cramon-Taubadel.
As of May 4, the name of the head of the NHA has not yet been named.
The Minister "slipped" falsified documents for the signature of Shmygal
At a government meeting on May 27, Maxim Stepanov read one document under the transcript, and put another on the signature.
Authorization to finance 2 non-autonomous health facilities
The read-out document speaks of amendments to Resolution No. 391, which two Kiev hospitals, the Center for Eye Microsurgery and the Kiev City Center for Reproductive and Perinatal Medicine, are brought out of the law. It dealt exclusively with the conclusion of an agreement between these hospitals and the NHA, and the need to autonomize them by the end of the year.
Read also. The Ministry of Health goes to a new bottom level, – Suprun on financing 2 non-autonomous medical facilities
Let patients pay twice
The document, which was given for signature, additionally stated that those services for which the state will pay will also be paid.
This means that at first the state will transfer money for the patient for the service under the new system, and then it will be possible to take money from the patient for the same service, because it is included in the list of “paid services”.
It turns out that these hospitals do not need to autonomize and comply with requirements, because money can be obtained just like that if you have "personal" connections in the Ministry of Health of Ukraine. And what is now absolutely “normal” practice within the walls of the ministry is to involve a civil servant in the leadership with the requirement to amend the resolution, because “it’s necessary”,
– said the former head of the Ministry of Health, Ulyana Suprun.
What is known about the agreements concluded by the NHA? NSZU has concluded 645 agreements for the provision of secondary services. The contracts are concluded for a year, the contract amount and monthly payments are prescribed in it in advance. In mid-April, the NSZU paid the first money under the contracts – more than 4.5 billion hryvnias in total. This is significantly more than with the old financing mechanism.
There can be no "level of skill", – Stepanov
The head of the Ministry of Health noted criticism of the second stage of medical reform. According to him, this could lead to "catastrophic destruction of medicine in Ukraine" and added that the problem arose due to an unbalanced tariff policy.
He explained this by the example of how much the state allocates money for one birth – about 8 thousand hryvnias. But a woman can give birth in many ways – childbirth with complications, physiological, cesarean.
There can’t be one tariff, there can’t be any “leveling”, because a different amount of money is spent on having these births,
– said Maxim Stepanov.
Meanwhile, Ulyana Suprun accused Stepanov of not thinking about patients, and emphasized that thanks to medical reform in Ukraine, people can receive truly free, safe and high-quality medical care, and taxpayer funds will be used efficiently.
Suprun accused Stepanov of the fact that the minister does not think about patients / Photo: Getty Images
Tariff criticism without any recommendations
At briefings, Maxim Stepanov criticized tariffs for medical services. However, the NHA did not receive any tasks from the Ministry of Health regarding the recalculation of tariffs for medical services within the framework of the medical guarantees program (SGP). This was told by and. about. Heads of NSZU Oksana Movchan
“The only request from the Ministry of Health was for us to recount the budgets of medical facilities in accordance with the funding that they had from the central budget last year. We did this, it’s a very simple math problem, we calculated and indexed inflation. This information is from the Minister have been there for over a month, "Movchan said.