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Patients brought a rake to the Ministry of Health



Today, a rake along with the statement was brought to the Ministry of Health of Ukraine by the patients who have deadly diseases. Thus, they request a timely announcement of the state tenders for procurement of medications. The patients are alarmed with the possibility that the new management of the Ministry may make the same mistake like their predecessors by delaying tenders for drug procurement as this would ultimately harm the patients… There are two dates marked on the rake: April 20 – deadline for the tenders announcement and August 31 – deadline for supplying all the medications to hospitals. These are also the dates mentioned in the statement passed over to Ms.Bohatyriova, Ministry of Health together with the rake. This was done with the aim to prevent a catastrophe which may take away thousands of lives of Ukrainians and make dozens of thousands of people handicap. “It is for the first time that we, the patients with HIV/AIDS, TB, cancer and hemophilia came out together to make the Ministry of Health hear our voices and make timely procurement of medications which our lives depend on. – says Dmytro Sherembey, the HIV-positive patient and Head of the Ukrainian Community Advisory Board on Access to Treatment – We shouldn’t repeat the previous years’ scenarios, making the same mistakes, which are killing Ukrainians.”


Today, 1.5 million of Ukrainians are living with deadly diseases, over 10,000 children among them. In the first place, these are people living with cancer, AIDS, TB and hemophilia, in other words, people whose lives are fully dependant on drugs and their timely intake. In Ukraine, there are 184,000 people living with HIV and hemophilia, 70,828 people have active forms of TB and 378,383 are infected with TB and under a high risk of developing the disease. 960,000 of Ukrainians have cancer. All of these people are waiting for the life-saving drugs which are procured at the cost of the State Budget of Ukraine.

It has become a tradition that the tenders for procurement of drugs are announced in May and the bidding results become available in December, accordingly, the medications start being supplied to the patients only in January-February of the following year, so to say, with a delay of some 12-13-months. Many patients do not survive till this moment. “Officials tell us that procurement of drugs is being done in accordance with all the procedures and the Law. May these people look into the eyes of a child with cancer, whose life is counted by days and try to explain this to that child” – says Tetiana Ukrainets, a mother of a child who has cancer.

“Last year, I was buying my medications by myself, – says a TB patient, Oleh Huziy. – This year, I can no longer afford this. If there are no medicines available, it means I will have to stop the treatment and thus risk developing a multi-drug resistant TB in my case. It is merely impossible to cure this form of TB. I do not want to die…”

“The situation with delaying the tenders and a new Minister taking over the post in spring right before the tenders is not new, – states Oleksander Shmylo, a patient with hemophilia and the Head of the “All-Ukrainian Hemophilia Community”Every year, we are facing this challenge when due to the corruption of the Ministry of Health people are dying and become handicap, both adults and which is even worse, the children. Besides holding immediate tenders, we request systemic changes, particularly, introducing changes into the Law of Ukraine “About carrying out the state procurements” in order to ensure that peculiarities of procurement of medications and medical goods are properly regulated on the legislative level. Particularly, there must be a date defined for annual procurement of such goods, since supplies of medications for hemophilia patients are critically important for the patients’ lives.”

The request letter to the Ministry of Health was signed by six organizations working with patients who live with HIV/AIDS, TB, cancer and hemophilia.

CF “Ukrainian Community Advisory Board on Access to Treatment”, Foundation “Development of Ukraine”, AUCO “All-Ukrainian Network of PLH”, Council for Supervisory Care of the Center for Childhood Cancer Hematology and Bone Marrow Transplantation of the National Specialized Hospital for Children of the Ministry of Health OKHMATDYT, NGO “All-Ukrainian Hemophilia Community”, AUCF “Zaporuka”.

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