PATIENTS WITHOUT MEDICINE. WARS FOR CONTROL OF MEDICAL FLOWS
- Тарас Зозулінський
The Ministry of Health of Ukraine missed the deadline for purchasing medicines. Next month, drugs for the treatment of seriously ill children with cancer may disappear in Ukrainian hospitals.
Patient organizations and activists on the Patients of Ukraine website speak for such a disappointing development. It is reported that at least 54 children in Rivne region have been left without medication. Another 152 children have the drug only for 2-3 months.
According to the Rivne Regional Children's Hospital, children suffering from leukemia (blood cancer) were left without medication.
Inna Ivanenko, head of the Patients of Ukraine Charitable Foundation, notes that their organization has warned the Ministry of Health of Ukraine since April 2020 about such fatal consequences. However, medical officials were convinced that patients from the procurement balances of 2018-19 will be able to provide patients.
As a result, the Ministry of Health of Ukraine overwhelmed procurement for the 2020 budget.
WHAT'S GOING ON? DOUBTS
The struggle for control over cash flows in the purchase of medicines has been going on since the beginning of the year. So in March, the general director of the State Enterprise "Medical Procurement" Arsen Zhumadilov publicly stated that the then Minister of Health of Ukraine Ilya Yemets tried to "seduce" his proxy in "Medical Procurement".
Why did this resonate? What is a state enterprise? What does it do?
As Arsen Zhumadilov described on his page, Medzakupili Ukrainy was established as a strategic purchasing agency in the industry, which most of all needs transparency and professionalization at the same time.
Last year, the state and local customers spent more than 20 billion hryvnias on medical supplies.
This year, the figure could exceed 30 billion.
This is almost half of the NSSU budget.
This is more than a quarter of the country's annual defense budget.
This is more than half of the annual state budget for education.
Of this UAH 30 billion, about UAH 10 billion is spent on the purchase of drugs under centralized programs in various areas, including pediatric and adult oncology.
38 areas, 1500 items of procurement nomenclature, hundreds of thousands of lives.
In his address to the Minister of Health, Arsen Zhumadilov directly accused Ilya Yemets of pressure and illegal influence.
- So far, you are only harming, risking discrediting. Either myself or DP. Your ultimate requirement to employ your "trustee" is counterproductive and illegal ...
Hiring a deputy director general (and actually "watching" from the minister) of a person with a criminal past convicted of theft is an insult to taxpayers who will hopelessly hope for zero tolerance for corruption in such an agency ...
Requirements to appoint a "trustee" to the position of deputy, blocking the work of the SOE and, accordingly, the launch of procurement are nothing more than an abuse of power, which in this situation is not just a problem but a real danger to people.
Regarding the latter, today I applied to the DBR for a criminal offense under the relevant investigation. Procurement has been blocked by the Ministry of Health for the third week in a row because there must be "political will of the leadership." You tied her to the appointment of your protégé. You are now responsible for this.
"You didn't want to be good. It will be different," you told me in the courtyard of the Ministry of Health last Friday.
Fine. Let it be, - Arsen Zhumadilov accepted fight.
CRIME IS UNPLEASANT
The next day, March 24, the brave director was summoned for questioning.
- Mr. Minister, Ilya Nikolaevich, I want to clarify something with you, - Arsen Zhumadilov wrote that day.
- Do I correctly interpret your words "will be different" in the light of newly discovered circumstances?
The fact is that last night, after work, I was summoned for questioning by representatives of the National Police. This Thursday. Currently as a witness. Criminal proceedings have been instituted under part five of Article 191 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (misappropriation, embezzlement or seizure of another’s property through abuse of office by an official has been committed on a particularly large scale or by an organized group).
According to the summons, the proceedings were opened on March 21, ie last Saturday.
Do I understand correctly that on Friday you, Ilya Mykolayovych, addressed the representatives of the National Police with a request to initiate a criminal case against me?
Instead, Ilya Yemets is initiating an official investigation into the situation around the State Enterprise "Medical Procurement of Ukraine".
- The Minister of Health of Ukraine Ilya Yemets instructed to conduct an official investigation of the situation in the state enterprise "Medical Procurement of Ukraine" (MZU). This order was given after the publication of the Director General of the Ministry of Health Arsen Zhumadylov, which contains information about the alleged blocking of the procurement process of goods intended to combat coronavirus. A commission has been set up to carry out the order, and the press service of the Ministry of Health will inform about the results of the investigation, "the press service of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine wrote.
March 30 Ilya Yemets, by decision
Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, was dismissed from the post of Minister.
The confrontation seemed to be over and public procurement of drugs for cancer patients was unblocked.
But it didn't work out.
Maksym Stepanov has been appointed the new Minister of Health of Ukraine.
On June 4, Arsen Zhumadilov was called to the police again.
- It has never been like this again. Summoned for questioning by the National Police. The new minister - new proceedings, - the general director of "Medical procurement of Ukraine" writes.
After interrogation, on June 9, he reported that criminal proceedings were opened under Part 2 of Art. 15, part 5 of Art. 191, part 2 of Article 364 of the Criminal Code. That is an attempt to waste money and abuse of power. It was opened at the request of the Ministry of Health, concerning the purchase of costumes, which never took place.
PROCUREMENTS TAKEN UNDER CONTROL OFFICIALS
Then began comedy and outright farce by the Ministry of Health.
Numerous anti-corruption and medical NGOs sounded the alarm.
On June 2, the Anti-Corruption Center issued a scathing statement.
- The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine has made changes to the resolution, which complicates the process of medical procurement. NGOs warn that the country has thus received manual procurement management, which threatens the lack of vital drugs for patients. -
Anti-corruption activists said that now, without the consent of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, the state enterprise "Medical Procurement of Ukraine" will not be able to buy anything. The state-owned enterprise must now agree with the Ministry of Health on each technical task - even a tender cannot be announced until the Minister of Health Maxim Stepanov gives the command "yes".
In addition, even draft agreements should be submitted to the Ministry of Health for approval (it is an interesting practice when the party to the agreement does not agree on the agreement) - otherwise the SOE will not receive money at its own expense and will not buy anything.
“It seems that Stepanov and the team have such an approach to management - all with their own hands. After all, to approve every purchase of a state-owned enterprise means to delay the whole process. The ministry has already brazenly and illegally interfered in the purchase of protective suits by the company for doctors. And now it is simply trying to "legitimize" such an intervention at every step of procurement for seriously ill Ukrainians. It is obvious that the Ministry of Health is not interested in prompt and high-quality procurement, but in trying to earn and give money where it is "needed", and not to buy cheaper, "said Olena Shcherban, a member of the board of the Center for Combating Corruption.
“We are outraged! Initially, patients and the public are literally forcing the Ministry of Health to start purchasing drugs and medical devices. We independently provide physicians with means of protection. Instead, the Ministry of Health initiates changes to the legislation that transform an independent purchasing agency into a tender committee of the Ministry of Health. This is nothing more than an attempt to take over all tender powers. And this is a threat of disruption of tenders, because now the Ministry of Health has not approved 8 necessary documents for launching procurement, and now for months will not approve terms of reference or contracts, as has already happened "- comments the executive director of the Patients of Ukraine Charitable Foundation Inna Ivanenko.
On July 13, another accusatory post by Arsen Zhumadilov appears, in which the state of affairs is briefly described.
- You blocked centralized procurement based on manual procurement management and were disgraced. On June 16, the amendments to the profile resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine № 298 initiated by you came into force, according to which the SE must agree on "technical, qualitative and other characteristics of goods and services subject to procurement, as well as a draft contract to be concluded based on procurement" .
According to this innovation, on June 16, the SOE sent draft agreements, and on June 18, it sent the first package of technical documentation for approval. During this time, we sent inquiries to the Ministry of Health for 198 positions. As of July 13, we have not received a response to any. -
MONEY IS DEMANDED IN DIFFERENT AREAS
The Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine "On streamlining free and preferential dispensing of prescription drugs in the case of outpatient treatment of certain groups of the population and certain categories of diseases" №1303 of August 17, 1998 contains a list of diseases for which outpatient treatment is provided free of charge. The first - cancer.
Despite this, in various oncology institutions, doctors shovel money from patients.
Communal non-profit enterprise "Regional Clinical Oncology Center of Kirovohrad Regional Council".
General Director - Konstantin Yarinich. In the past, the People's Deputy of Ukraine from the Bloc of Petro Poroshenko.
According to the Anti-Corruption Center, at the end of April the patient complained to the Yarynich Oncology Center. The person had to pay for the fact that under the contract of the oncology center with the National Health Insurance Fund it should be free of charge. In addition, the Kropyvnytskyi Regional Dispensary of Yarynich bought medicines exclusively from distributors at inflated prices.
NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF SURGERY AND TRANSPLANTOLOGY NAMED AFTER O.O. SHALIMOVA
Head of the Department of Liver Transplantation and Surgery Oleh Kotenko. President of the Association of Transplantologists of Ukraine. Doctor of Medical Sciences, Professor
. Laureate of the State Prize of Ukraine in the field of science and technology (2008). 34 years of medical experience.
He was approached by a patient with liver cancer.
Oleg Kotenko illegally demanded payment for medical care, informing the latter that he had to pay a lot of money for his consultation.
Subsequently, after receiving the funds, Oleg Kotenko offered treatment to the patient by performing a liver transplant operation, noting that if this operation is not performed, his health may soon deteriorate and lead to biological death, in connection with which offered to pay him $ 30,000 for the operation and further treatment.
The doctor received from the patient 22 thousand dollars.
He was then detained by police. Even during the searches, a million dollars was confiscated from the surgeon in cash.
And this with an average salary of 15 thousand hryvnia per month.
Doctors of medical sciences were detained at the time of receiving the money. Another $ 65,000 was found in his office. Another $ 840,000 was seized from Kotenko's bank account.
13 thousand dollars and 7 thousand euros were found at the place of residence.
Oleg Kotenko was charged with illegally demanding payment for medical care at a state health care facility.
Also, in the receipt of an employee of the institution, working for the benefit of the institution, illegal benefits for actions using the position held by the employee in the institution, in the interests of those who provide such benefits.
On January 9, 2020, Judge of the Solomianskyi District Court of Kyiv, O. Kryvorot, passed a sentence.
In total - a fine of 500 (five hundred) non-taxable minimum incomes of citizens, amounting to 8500 (eight thousand five hundred) UAH.
Today Oleg Kotenko works as the head of the Center for Liver and Pancreas Surgery at the Universal Clinic "Oberig".
There are approximately one and a half million cancer patients in Ukraine.
Every year, the Ministry of Health of Ukraine registers more than 170,000 new cases.
According to the Ministry, due to untimely diagnosis of oncological diseases, about 40% of patients die during the first year of the disease ...
This material was prepared and funded by The European School of Oncology (Milan, Italy) - https://www.eso.net/