The Ukrainian Crisis Media Center hosted a press conference that was held in within the framework of the action plan of the Ukraine-wide educational program “We Understand Human Rights” on “ATO participants’ and their families’ access to health care”.
NGO “Cherkasy Human Rights Protection Center” together with NGO “MART” presented the results of work carried out together with NGO “Zakarpattia Community” in the direction of availability of medical services for ATO participants and members of their families, which was held in Cherkasy, Uzhhorod, and Chernihiv.
As noted by the lawyer of NGO “MART” Dmytro Naumenko: “The beginning of the project was a large number of appeals received form ATO participants regarding their rights. In 2016, more than one and a half thousand participants of the ATO applied for legal advice to public reception offices in Chernihiv, Cherkasy, and Uzhhorod. The most widespread question is how to get free medical care. ”
Dmytro Naumenko stressed that NGOs had joined forces to facilitate the access of ATO participants to medical services and to enable this category of persons to realize their medical rights fully.
“During the project, legislation was analyzed that regulates the procedure for obtaining medical services by ATO participants and local regulations, programs in Chernihiv, Uzhhorod, Cherkasy for the purpose of studying the scope of provision of medical services at the level of cities and preparing proposals, recommendations to local self-government bodies on work in the field of provision of medical services to participants ATO”, said the lawyer.
Taras Shcherbatyuk, Head of the NGO “Cherkasy Human Rights Protection Center”, reported on the results of the information and explanatory work on the availability of medical services for ATO participants.
During the project, posters, booklets and pocket instructions for ATO participants were prepared, in which the algorithms of action for obtaining medical services were highlighted. Also, the materials contain information about the networks of institutions and organizations through which they can exercise their medical rights. Information materials are distributed in state agencies, medical institutions, and associations of ATO participants. In addition, for participating in hostilities, webinars on access to health services, spa treatment, rehabilitation and free medicines were conducted.
In addition, the organizations held a series of working meetings with local authorities, which addressed issues of information accessibility to medical services and the ability of ATO participants to exercise their medical rights. The result of the meetings was the change in the information policy of local authorities and the placement of reports on medical services on the sites of city councils.
Dmytro Shumar, a lawyer of NGO “MART”, spoke about the work under the project and the situation with the provision of medical services in the cities.
He pointed out the main problems identified in the provision of medical services to ATO participants:
In Chernihiv, Cherkasy, and Uzhhorod, there are no targeted health care programs for ATO participants and their families;
In Chernihiv there is no targeted financing of medical care within the city’s ATO Participants Support Program and their family members;
ATO members and their families seek help from community organizations and volunteers due to low awareness of places and methods of providing free medical services;
Not every pharmacy in Uzhhorod, Chernihiv, and Cherkasy offers free medicines. For example, in Chernihiv, there is one pharmacy where it is possible to receive medicines, after which the city council reimburses the money. “In Cherkassy, the situation is better: free medicines are issued directly in the hospital at the doctor’s prescription”, said Dmytro Shumar.
The project is a pilot and will continue to be distributed to other cities of the country in order to provide full access to medical services to ATO participants and to realize their rights to medical services.
The mini-project “ATO participants’ and their families’ access to health care” is implemented by NGO “Cherkasy Human Rights Protection Center” in partnership with NGO “MART” and NGO “Zakarpattia community” within the project “Active civil action to overcome the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.” The public association “Education Human Rights House – Chernihiv” with the assistance of National Endowment for Democracy (NED) implement the project.
The views of those, who developed and is implementing the mini-project do not necessarily reflect the official position of the public association “Education Human Rights House – Chernihiv” and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).
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