Just Published: Ukraine Health System Review
Ukraine: Health System Review
Health Systems in Transition series
Volume 12 No 8
The Ukrainian health system has preserved the fundamental features of the Soviet Semashko system against a background of other changes, which are developed on market economic principles. The transition from centralized financing to its extreme decentralization is the main difference in the health system in comparison with the classic Soviet model. Health facilities are now functionally subordinate to the Ministry of Health, but managerially and financially answerable to the regional and local self-government, which has constrained the implementation of health policy and fragmented health financing. Health care expenditure in Ukraine is low by regional standards and has not increased significantly as a proportion of gross domestic product (GDP) since the mid 1990s; expenditure cannot match the constitutional guarantees of access to unlimited care. Although prepaid schemes such as sickness funds are growing in importance, out-of-pocket payments account for 37.4% of total health expenditure.
The core challenges for Ukrainian health care therefore remain the ineffective protection of the population from the risk of catastrophic health care costs and the structural inefficiency of the health system, which is caused by the inefficient system of health care financing. Health system weaknesses are highlighted by increasing rates of avoidable mortality. Recent political impasse has complicated health system reforms and policy-makers face significant challenges in overcoming popular distrust and “fatigue” in the face of necessary but as yet unimplemented reforms.HiTs are country-based reports that provide a detailed description of each health care system and of reform and policy initiatives in progress or under development.Valery Lekhan, Volodymor Rudiy and Erica Richardson.