Aug. 9, 2019

ILF partner Olena Khytrova joins Public Oversight Board of the National Healthcare Service

At the end of July, a competition was held to form the Public Oversight Board of the National Healthcare Service of Ukraine (NHSU). In order to participate, civic organizations dealing with the protection of patients' rights and freedoms, circulation of medicines and other social issues in the field of healthcare nominated their candidates.

Online voting put Olena Khytrova, head of healthcare department at ILF, in the top three shortlist. Her candidacy was nominated by the Ukrainian-German Medical Association, where Olena has served as coordinator of the reform committee since the association’s founding.

Given the social significance of the NHSU and its tasks as well as the Public Oversight Board in particular, people were voting not simply for experts, but for those who know how to judge the real needs of the population, who have already earned a reputation of honesty and decency and who are plugged into the processes taking place in the country. ILF team is proud of Olena and fully supports her election to the Board. After all, she co-authored key laws on the healthcare reform as member of the Kharkiv Expert Group for the Healthcare Reform, developed guidelines for transitioning medical institutions, keeps doctors informed in the course of the reform and conducts educational activities for them, constantly communicates with medical workers and patients in the field, helping, as a lawyer, to change the healthcare system with minimal losses. This experience makes her invaluable to the Public Oversight Board.

The NHSU was established in 2017 as a central executive body responsible for the implementation of state policy in the field of healthcare service provision to the population. Most of us know the NHSU today as a representative of patients’ interests - the buyer of medical services. However, the responsibilities of this body do not end here. They also include monitoring and anticipating demand for medical services and medicines, developing medical guarantee programs, proposing rates and correction coefficients, maintaining the electronic healthcare system and other, no less important, functions.

The implementation of NHSU’s goals entails a number of risks, including the risk of bribes. The Public Oversight Board was created to address this risk and to ensure high quality, timely and constructive communication between the NHSU and the population, its main tasks being:

  • collecting and submitting to the NHSU recommendations from civil society institutions for the NHSU,
  • discussing NHSU transparency issues with representatives of civic associations, media and the general public, preventing attempts to discredit the NHSU and its employees,
  • supporting public discussion of draft laws and regulations on NHSU activities,
  • public control over the use of state budget funds by the NHSU, as well as submitting relevant proposals to the NHSU,
  • public examination of NHSU activities in accordance with the law, etc.

An exhaustive list of the tasks and powers of the Public Oversight Board is given in the Regulation on the Public Oversight Board of the National Healthcare Service, No. 271 of 28 March 2018. There will be 15 people in total on the Board.

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