Ministry of Health of Ukraine and World Bank Group outline prospects for further progress of the Serving People, Improving Health Project
On June 26, 2018 the American Chamber of Commerce hosted Business Forum in the Framework of Joint Project "Serving People, Improving Health". The leaders of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the Ministry of Health of Ukraine presented a joint investment project and invited businesses to participate in future tenders.
The business forum was also attended by representatives of the Project Consultancy Support Unit and the Sub-Project Management units from the eight participating oblasts, namely the Dnipropetrovsk, Poltava, Rivne, Vinnytsia, Volyn, Lviv, Zakarpattia and Zaporizhzhia oblasts.
In the two and a half years, the project has made significant progress towards achieving its key development objectives, including the healthcare quality improvement in the selected regions. For example, the participating oblasts received new medical equipment and vehicles – 8 angiographs, 7 mobile laboratories, 40 ambulances, 300 electrocardiographs. In addition, six inter-district screening centers were created in different oblasts and the construction of a new cardiac center started in Vinnytsia.
"The Serving People, Improving Health Project is the second largest project in the health care sector in Europe. We are currently restructuring the project to reallocate the unused funds from the regional budgets to the state budget, so this money can be used to support the implementation of ongoing reforms, including the development of the newly established National Health Service of Ukraine, eHealth system and emergency care. We have managed to solve a number of issues that previously discouraged a lot of companies from participating in tenders. For instance, we simplified many procedures, and having elliminated corruption, we now continue working fairly and transparently. We would like to speed up the process by engaging the business community in order to successfully complete this project in two years and to start negotiations with the World Bank colleagues for new projects," noted Pavlo Kovtoniuk, Deputy Minister of Health of Ukraine.
Dr. Feng Zhao, the Program Leader for World Bank's Human Development programs underlined that there are some major challenges for the implementation of this project – there is sufficient procurement funding, but very few companies participate in the tenders, even when the proposals are very interesting and beneficial to businesses. Therefore, the World Bank would like to invite companies to participate in the procurement tenders with multiple lots, including medical equipment and supplies, materials for the reconstruction of hospitals, consultancy services, trainings for medical staff, etc. Dr. Feng Zhao believes that this Project plays a significant role in the healthcare reform implementation in Ukraine, and the businesses now have an opportunity to become an integral part of it.
"The American Chamber of Commerce is a platform that has been bringing together the right people for the last 26 years and has served as the voice of the Ukrianian private business. We are pleased to host this business forum and to serve as a link between business, government and the World Bank, and to discuss the new opportunities for future cooperation," commented Andy Hunder, President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine.
Alina Tkachenko, the Serving People, Improving Health Project Coordinator, assured the forum participants that "the project team is very professional, as it consists of some world-class experts and specialists of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine and the World Bank". Despite numerous challenges, this team has already achieved great results and has ambitious plans for further project implementation.
Overall, during the Business Forum the general overview of procurement was presented, as well as further plans for procurement of medical equipment, furniture and medical devices within the framework of the Project, main challenges were discussed.