President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy signed a decree setting a benchmark for the minimum level of medical remuneration: at least UAH 13.5 thousand for nursing staff and at least UAH 20 thousand for doctors. The Head of State said this during the celebrations on the occasion of the Day of the Medical Worker of Ukraine, which took place in the courtyard of the Mariyinsky Palace in Kyiv.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy stressed that the state should take care of doctors not only once a year, but every day. According to him, it is necessary to compensate for the lack of proper attention to medicine for many years and to value doctors as a national treasure.
To achieve this goal, the President identified two key priorities: the first is quality infrastructure and appropriate conditions for the work of physicians, the second is decent motivation, provision, conditions and guarantees for health professionals.
"I understand that any hospital, even a state-of-the-art one, risks becoming a beautiful and unnecessary decoration if it does not employ motivated, professional, protected and, importantly, happy specialists," the President said.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy called it unacceptable when the average salary in the field of health care is close to the level of the average salary in the country: "With all due respect to all professions, but a person's life is priceless, and therefore, saving it should be one of the highest paid jobs," he said.
"Either our country will provide a decent motivation for its doctors, or other countries will provide them with this motivation," the President said.
The Head of State reminded that the Ukrainian government is gradually increasing the salaries of doctors, but new mechanisms and resources need to be found until the level of doctors' salaries becomes fair.
"And one of the steps to achieve this goal will be the important decree of the President of Ukraine signed by me today. It has a rather complicated name, but a simple essence. The decree sets a benchmark for the minimum wage. Not less than 13.5 thousand hryvnias for the nursing staff. And not less than 20 thousand hryvnias for the doctors," Volodymyr Zelenskyy emphasized and signed the relevant document.
"Currently, the government is beginning the process of preparing the budget for 2022. I expect that it will be a clear signal of the restoration of prestige and the important role of physicians in our society. I urge the government to take these benchmarks into account when calculating the tariffs for medical guarantees and forming the budgets of departmental medical institutions," the President said.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy also called on local authorities, as owners of medical institutions, to ensure a fair distribution of funds and not to allow a large gap in the salaries of hospital management and other medical workers.
In addition, the President informed that on Thursday the Verkhovna Rada passed a law initiated by him on expanded newborn screening in Ukraine.
"We are starting systematic work with orphan diseases in general and SMA in particular," he added.
Finally, Volodymyr Zelenskyy noted that a year ago, on this day, he congratulated doctors on their professional holiday with a video appeal, as there were quarantine restrictions due to the spread of COVID-19.
"A year ago, we did not understand what would happen next. Will we withstand? And we withstood. Thanks to you. We can meet today. And it's also thanks to you. We are gradually returning to normal life, we can visit cafes, stadiums, cinemas and more. Thanks to you," the President stressed.