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The Law on the Public Health System has come into force. What will change?

1 October 2023

On October 1, 2023, the Law of Ukraine No. 2573 “On the Public Health System” dated September 06, 2022, which entered into force on October 1, 2022, will come into force. The law allows for the creation of a comprehensive public health system and its integration into the European network in accordance with international standards.

The public health system should promote health, prevent diseases, improve the quality and increase the life expectancy of Ukrainians, in particular through the priority function of preventing communicable and non-communicable diseases and access to immunization services. This approach has been chosen by European countries, where the average life expectancy for men is 72 years and for women 80 years. Instead, Ukraine’s indicators over the past 20 years have remained on average 5 years lower than the European ones.

“Starting October 1, regulations will be launched to strengthen the public health system. At the national level, the Law provides for the functioning of the main expert institution, which is the state institution “Center for Public Health of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine”. At the level of each oblast, the key institution is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which performs functions to counteract outbreaks of infectious diseases, respond to emergencies, provide surveillance and organize immunization of the population. Starting October 1, the CDCs will fully comply with all EU requirements for preparedness, response, and prevention. This concerns the functionality of these institutions. Previously, they mainly dealt with infectious diseases. Now, they will also pay more attention to the prevention of non-communicable diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, strokes, heart attacks, cancer, and the implementation of a mental health program,” said Deputy Minister, Chief State Sanitary Doctor Ihor Kuzin.

In particular, we are talking about strengthening the healthcare system in the following areas:

  • preventing diseases, improving public health and increasing life expectancy through the implementation of preventive measures, including those aimed at NCD risk factors;
  • ensuring epidemiological surveillance, monitoring, preparedness and response to threats and emergencies;
  • developing a comprehensive approach to solving public health problems;
  • ensuring biological safety and biological defense of the state through the creation of a national network of institutions for disease control and prevention, etc.

Prevention and control of diseases are stipulated in the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the European Union. The law guarantees every person safe food, drinking water, environment, working conditions, education, upbringing, everyday life, leisure and recreation. At the same time, it obliges citizens to take care of their own health, the health and hygienic upbringing of children; not to harm the health of others, etc.