“Over the past months the salaries of most healthcare workers dropped instead of having grown. The average sector salary decreased by 2 percent as of first quarter, sliding from 7,693 hryvnia to 7,559 hryvnia in the first five months of 2020. Healthcare workers are being deprived of benefits and wage premiums due to lack of funding for hospitals. Funds for COVID-19 patients are allocated late and cut.

“The situation results from erroneously low fees for healthcare services. Experts have been warning about it for six months now, but the reform has been anyway put in place, making hospitals provide their services with such understated fees. Only the most absurd figures have been corrected - like allocating 3 hryvnia per day for feeding an infectious diseases hospital patient,” Lovochkin said.

The politician said special purpose hospitals, like tuberculosis and psychiatric institutions, are facing the deepest crisis. Some tuberculosis dispensaries have been closed in the Lviv, Volyn, Ternopil, Zaporizhia, and other regions. Psychiatrists are hoping for support from the state and address international organizations for help.

“The healthcare system is poorly funded on paper, but these funds are not even allocated in reality. Healthcare expenses in the general fund of the state budget are underfunded by one third, and the gap is deepening every month. It looks like a goal has been set, despite the pandemic, to force healthcare workers to resign and leave abroad,” the MP said.

He added that Ukrainian doctors are sought-after in neighboring countries, like Czech Republic, where a qualified healthcare worker earns 1,200 euro per month.

“The government must stop ruining the nation’s healthcare system immediately before it stops being a system at all,” Lovochkin said.