Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
26 October 2016, 6 PM Kyiv time
1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (RNBO) reported that yesterday towards Luhansk, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions near Popasne with artillery. Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions at Stanytsia Luhanska. Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions near Avdiyivka with mortars. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions with mortars at several locations along the Mariupol sector of the front. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours no Ukrainian soldiers were killed and one Ukrainian soldier was wounded.
2. Ukraine’s President speaks with US Vice-President
On 25 October, Ukraine’s President P. Poroshenko held a phone conversation with US Vice-President J. Biden. The White House reported that they discussed “next steps in the implementation of the Minsk agreements following the October 19 Normandy Group meetings in Berlin. The leaders emphasized the importance of de-escalation and the need to continue disengaging forces along the line of contact in the Donbas. The leaders underscored that international sanctions on Russia must remain in place until Minsk is fully implemented. The leaders also discussed a range of economic and bilateral issues and agreed on the importance of continuing to implement the reform agenda.”
3. Atlantic Council on Health Care reforms in Ukraine
Writing for the Atlantic Council, M. Getto stated, “Health care in Ukraine has not worked in the past-not for hospitals, clinics, doctors or nurses, and most important, not for the Ukrainian people, regardless of where they live or work, unless they are fortunate enough to pay under the table to receive the most basic care. Entrenched, bureaucratic, and corrupt interests, wielding a combination of bribes, private pharmaceutical deals, and indifference, contribute to a system in which the public’s basic health needs are unmet. […] In the past, the Ministry of Health has been seen as complicit with this broken health care system: at best, looking the other way to ignore inefficiency and corruption; at worst, participating in the system’s incompetence and lack of results. But change is already underway. Acting Minister of Health Ulana Suprun, an American-educated medical doctor, has begun addressing institutional weaknesses in Ukraine’s health care system to the benefit of ordinary Ukrainians. Since taking office in late July, Dr. Suprun canceled Decree 33, the perverse Soviet-era directive that based hospital funding in Ukraine on the number of beds in a medical facility, as opposed to the flesh and blood patients who need care and attention. […] Second, Dr. Suprun persuaded the cabinet to increase health care funding by 7.5 percent over last year. Government support for health care is still not where it needs to be; it is well under health care spending in the European Union as a percentage of gross domestic product, according to the World Health Organization. But it is roughly at the same level as state spending in Central Europe and the Baltics, and is approaching a level sufficient to meet Ukrainians’ health care priorities […] Third, the ministry is reforming the way vaccines are procured in Ukraine. […] vaccine procurement by international partners to combat polio, tuberculosis, and other diseases-supervised by the new team at the Ministry of Health-has already saved more than 800 million hryvnas, about $30 million. That money can be used to purchase twice as many vaccines as before. […]The preliminary results from the new team at the Ministry of Health are a welcome sign as the country continues to move toward Europe.” The full article is available at http://www.atlanticcouncil.
org/blogs/new-atlanticist/the- doctor-is-in-ukraine-s-new- health-minister-already- shaking-up-sclerotic-system