While for the whole world the problem of tuberculosis remains a priority, the current Ukrainian authorities simply ignore it. The head of the Ministry of Health Suprun and her team do not care about tens of thousands of deaths of Ukrainians from this disease. The program to combat the epidemic is not submitted in time, and timely procurement of drugs is not carried out. This was stated by MP from the OPPOSITION BLOC Ihor Shurma, speaking from the rostrum of the parliament on Wednesday, April 24.
According to him, the World Health Organization and the Global Fund have raised the issue of tuberculosis to the highest level. In particular, a phased program until 2035 is being developed to overcome this disease. And Ukraine should also take part in it. Moreover, the fight against tuberculosis is the subject of our country’s international obligations regarding the implementation of the provisions of the Association Agreement with the European Union. However, despite this, in Ukraine, this problem is in no way solved and even ignored.
“Just think: 10 thousand people die from tuberculosis in Ukraine every year. Every day, there are 10 new patients, including children. Since 1995, when we had an epidemic, 150,000 Ukrainians have died from tuberculosis. Due to departure of doctors abroad for earnings, staffing in tuberculosis hospitals remain understaffed. There is no one to treat,” Ihor Shurma stated.
While the parliament is proud of visa-free regime, according to the MP, experts at the WHO European Bureau say they fear of tuberculosis growth in the EU by providing a visa-free regime for citizens of Ukraine.
“I would like to tell you that visa-free regime can close any time, if Ukraine does nothing. To fight tuberculosis, it is necessary to adopt an appropriate program. The old program ended in 2016. The following year, the Cabinet began to develop the concept of a new program. And do you know when it was submitted to the Committee on Health? It was in January 2019. For two years nobody submitted it, and we are told about some kind of fight,” Ihor Shurma emphasized.
According to him, only on March 5, 2019, the Ministry of Health carried out the distribution of anti-tuberculosis drugs purchased in 2017 by order No. 505. This means that there has been no significant fight for two years. UAH 16 billion was taken abroad – and today there are neither drugs nor money returned.
“At the Committee, we are offered today, by a vote of eight people, to approve a government program. And nobody was from the Ministry. I understand that Suprun has no education, but someone there should know the law. The Constitution, part 1 of Article 58, establishes a provision on the inadmissibility of the retroactive effect of laws and regulations. Well, the acting Ministry of Health does not know about this, but why are the deputies forced to “write back” billions of budget funds “backdating” and approve the program? I want to emphasize to the government and the pro-government coalition: Suprun was a “weigh” on your feet, but with such “success” she will also become your “shackles”, Ihor Shurma emphasized.