UAH 45 billion annually siphoned out of Ukrainian taxpayers’ pockets

Using corruption schemes, Ukrainian healthcare establishments siphon billions of hryvnas out of Ukrainian taxpayers’ pockets.

10 December 2015 14:00

Ukrainians annually pay UAH 45 billion to the healthcare system because nearly 90% of the medications provided to healthcare establishments for free gets resold via pharmacies, said Dmitry Sherembey, Board Chair of Ukraine’s Patients NGO, during a Kiev-held round table discussion called ‘Why Ukrainians continue giving bribes and how to avoid that?’ .

“Corruption is a crime resulting in a large number of deaths and taking place in Ukraine every minute. In fact, we try to fight this evil on a daily basis. And we came up with a solution to this problem by developing a mobile app showing availability of all medications at healthcare establishments where you receive treatment,” says Sherembey.

According to Sherembey, an app like this has been used at nearly 300 healthcare establishments of the Odessa region where lists of medications were made available thanks to the local governor.

“It looks like we are not really that poor. For example, a dental clinic in Odessa has 500 thousand free dentures, while a warehouse facility owned by one of the city’s hospitals had 290 thousand syringes, 9 kilometers of bandages, and UAH 38 million worth of medications as of September 15, 2015. Seeing lists of medications freely available at Odessa’s cancer treatment center made mothers of the children with cancer cry. For 6 months they had to buy these medications with their own money to save their children only to find out they were available for free,” said Sherembey.

Sherembey says the technology cost zero to develop – all it took was the governor’s authorization to introduce the system at Odessa's healthcare establishments. According to Sherembey, his NGO is going to suggest that the Cabinet of Ministers introduce the system nationwide.