ILF steers a clinic toward self-sufficiency

The Chuguyev Primary Healthcare Center will be operating as an autonomous non-commercial municipal enterprise from now on. It was decided at the session of Chuguev District Council on 7 March this year.

“Now the Center has to go through the transition. Our goal is to make it as clear and transparent as possible. Within the next two and a half months the clinic’s assets will be evaluated and inventoried and a new charter will be drawn. The transition will be managed by a special commission,” says Olena Khitrova, Head of ILF Healthcare & Pharmacy Department and member of Kharkiv expert team on healthcare reform.

The issue of making clinics financially self-sustaining had been raised earlier by the Ministry of Healthcare on a number of occasions. While the appropriate law has only passed the first reading so far and the final vote is yet to come, turning a clinic into a non-commercial municipal enterprise is already possible. It is a way for clinics to manage their own assets and work with investors and foreign organizations on their own terms. The state is far less efficient in running a medical institution than a community, which is better acquainted with the needs of the people and is therefore better prepared to handle funds allocation.

“There are some who fear the process, but others prefer to take matters in their own hands. Of course, if the law were already in force, it would make things simpler,” says Olena Khitrova. “Right now there are certain difficulties, such as obligatory asset evaluation and re-registration of seals and documents. These things require money and are for the territorial communities to handle. But what scares clinic administrators the most is the necessity to get a new license and pass accreditation again.” As a non-commercial municipal enterprise, the Primary Healthcare Center in Chuguyev will be able to change their scheme of payment to employees: “It won’t be based on the principle “patients bring money” yet, for this must be done at the government level,” notes Olena. “We can, however, provide motivation for doctors that will grant them bonuses based on the number of patients that choose them.”

The primary healthcare reform has been underway in Chuguyev for a year now managed by Kharkiv expert team on healthcare reform and approved by the Ministry of Healthcare and Kharkiv Regional State Administration. The project is backed by the International Renaissance Foundation and Consulate General of Germany in Donetsk (Dnipro Office), and benefits from the expertise of the Reanimation Package of Reforms, ILF, “Pediatrician +” clinic, Change Agency “Perspectives”, Bagels&Letters PR agency and Ukrainian-German Medical Association.

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