Policy dialogue for better health governance in Ukraine

WHO

Ukrainian Deputy Minister of Health describing the five key areas of health system reform.

Improvement in health status, financial protection, well-being, equitable access and satisfaction with the health services provided to the Ukrainian population, especially to vulnerable groups, is the overall goal of the "Policy Dialogue for Better Health Governance" project launched on 17 February 2016 in Kyiv, Ukraine.

The Health Reform Unit within the Ministry of Health of Ukraine will implement the project with funds provided jointly by WHO and Switzerland. It will run from December 2015 to November 2019, and WHO will provide technical assistance and coordination.

After completion of the project, 3 outcomes are expected:

  • steering, coordination and effective management of the health care sector in Ukraine by the Ministry;
  • implementation of the health care reform to rely on evidence-informed policy-making; and
  • improvement of the Ministry's capacity to govern and deliver quality public health and people-centred, result-oriented and inclusive health services for all.

The project also links to existing emergency preparedness and response activities that WHO is implementing in Ukraine. It will complement current interventions that target life-saving actions to attain a sustainable health impact in Ukraine.

Reform: a complex and multifaceted process

"Although major work in health care reform is ongoing, there exists an urgent need for the coordination mechanism to foster a health care system that is evidence informed and inclusive. The Government-led mechanism should be comprehensive and transparent, and create an environment for an open dialogue with various stakeholders and partners that are active in health care in Ukraine," says Luigi Migliorini, WHO Representative to Ukraine a.i.

During the event, the Ukrainian Minister of Health, Alexander Kvitashvili, emphasized that health care system reform is a complex and multifaceted process led by the Ministry along with other governmental bodies, including Parliament. Healthcare reform in Ukraine can only be made possible through the cooperation and coordination of all stakeholders. He also expressed his appreciation to WHO and Switzerland for their support.

"Health is not only about health care and hospitals; it is also about education and knowledge, and other things such as road safety, good diet and food safety for example. Managing these complexities requires time and energy, and above all adequate skills, and in times of reform, even more so. We acknowledge this energy and drive through the initiative presented to you today. The support provided seeks to improve capacities of leaders to steer the health care reform agenda, to endorse evidence-based policies, to improve donor coordination and coordination among sectors, and finally to communicate efficiently on results and intentions," emphasized Holger Tausch, Director of the Swiss Cooperation Office in Ukraine.

About the Swiss Cooperation Office in Ukraine

In 1997, Switzerland and Ukraine signed a bilateral agreement for technical cooperation, in which the Swiss Cooperation Office was opened in Kyiv to coordinate cooperation programmes in Ukraine.

The Swiss Cooperation Office in Ukraine operates on behalf of 3 governmental organizations: the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and the Human Security Division, part of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, which is part of the Swiss Federal Department for Economic Affairs.

Swiss support to Ukraine in 2015–2018 focuses on sustainable economic development, sustainable energy management and urban development, governance and peacebuilding, as well as health. Switzerland also provides humanitarian assistance to the regions and target groups affected by the conflict in eastern Ukraine. The yearly budget of the Swiss Cooperation Programme in Ukraine is 25 million Swiss francs.