The General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces reported at 12:30 PM Kyiv time that in the last 24 hours, no Ukrainian soldiers were killed and one Ukrainian soldier was wounded in action. Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces shelled residential areas of Avdiivka, damaging eight residential buildings. Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions at Kamyanka and Opytne. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions near Volnovakha, Chermalyk and Pavlopil with mortars. Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions at several locations on the Mariupol sector of the front. Towards Luhansk, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions near Popasne with mortars.
2. Atlantic Council on Reforms in Ukraine’s Health Care System
On April 17, Diane Francis, Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council, wrote, “Dr. Ulana Suprun, an Ukrainian-American radiologist, is a fierce reformer whose appointment in July as Acting Minister has led to legislative proposals that will provide decent, affordable medical care for the first time in Ukraine’s history. ‘I’m certain the legislation will pass,’ she said in a recent interview. ‘The public knows the system is corrupt and inefficient and 97 percent of people are afraid they will be financially ruined if they become sick.’ So, she and her team have taken the case for reforms to the public through an extensive communications outreach effort. Their message is simple: health care reform is an extension of the Revolution of Dignity. […] In Ukraine, bribery in health care is rampant. Hospitals pay bribes to get funding from ministry officials and politicians, contractors pay bribes to build hospitals that aren’t needed, doctors pay bribes to get licensed, pharma and equipment companies pay bribes, and patients pay bribes to get treatment and then, to boot, overpay for drugs. […] The scams were so blatant, and foreign drug manufacturers concerns so great, that in 2015 Ukraine handed over the procurement of drugs and equipment to the United Nations, UNICEF, and the UK’s nonprofit entity Crown Agents. This has saved tens of millions of dollars in costs each year because these nonprofit intermediaries bypass corruption and buy directly from manufacturers. An example is that a German cancer medication bought in 2014 for $322.60 per unit is obtained now for one-third the price of $104.37. Her reforms, approved by Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman and the Cabinet of Ministers, would replace the top-down system of giving government money to officials and head doctors to a western fee-for-service system. The Ukrainian government will pay 100 percent of the medical costs for the poor and for palliative, emergency, and cancer treatments. The rest will be a co-pay government insurance system as exists in Europe. Reforms will break the ruinous cycle. […] The new system will pay doctors based on the number of patients they see. The Health Ministry estimates their incomes will jump three to four times and patients will have bribe-free access to doctors. On April 11, 2017, Ukrainian pharmacies began providing, by law, the lowest cost drugs for cardiovascular, diabetes, and asthma patients instead of drugs from profiteers at inflated prices. Despite benefits, the pushback from vested interests is considerable. Many are making hundreds of millions of hryvnia on purchasing and bribery, she said. But Dr. Suprun remains optimistic her teams’ reforms will become law because of support from the prime minister as well as religious leaders, reformers, the G7, European Union, IMF, World Bank, and increasingly the public. ‘We do not want to enrich the corrupt,’ Dr. Suprun said. And in this case, the public is firmly on her side.” The full article is available athttp://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/ukrainealert/meet-ulana-suprun-ukraine-s-top-doctor-takes-on-tax-chief-and-corrupt-system
International Court of Justice, Photo AFP
3. International Court of Justice to deliver decision in Ukraine v. Russia tomorrow
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) stated, “On Wednesday 19 April 2017, the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, will deliver its Order on the request for the indication of provisional measures submitted by Ukraine in the case concerning Application of the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism and of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Ukraine v. Russian Federation). A public sitting will take place at 3 p.m. at the Peace Palace in The Hague, during which Judge Ronny Abraham, President of the Court, will read the Court’s Decision.”
4. Ukraine’s President visits UK on April 18-19
Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko will travel to the UK on an official visit on April 18-19, the President’s press service reported. He will meet with UK PM Theresa May, members of the government, MPs and representatives of the British business community. He will also speak at Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs.