Сергей Лебеденко

Medicine without “side effects”

We have talked a lot and for a long time about the need for reform of the health care system. At the highest levels. We have been looking for a way out of the difficult situation.
Then judge, there is no full-fledged free medicine anymore, and the commercial, quality and comfortable medical care is not available to everyone. Repeatedly there appeared and were discussed the draft laws on the introduction of obligatory public health insurance. But it remained only discussions. So in May 2014 the Ministry of Healthcare promulgated another draft law on social insurance in medicine and ... silence. Let’s wait for the end of the war? Devastation? Joining the EU?

We must take the initiative in our own hands and start to build a new model of state health insurance not from above but from below. This idea was offered by a famous Zaporozhye insurance company “Motor-Garant”, which has been working successfully in the Ukrainian insurance market for 14 years. On the prospects and benefits of this project, we have asked the company’s president Sergey Lebedenko.

Sergey Stepanovich, how is it planned to implement such a global initiative in the current difficult conditions?

To begin with, we have offered voluntary health insurance for 14 years, and during this time we have accumulated rich experience in our business and serious limit of citizens’ trust. And all this time we are waiting for the launch of the program of public health insurance. It happened so, that even in more stable and favorable economic conditions, this issue has not been able to get the ball rolling. Although at one time our group “MotorGarant” was involved in the development of appropriate draft laws, which were proposed to the Verkhovna Rada by people’s deputies Yaroslav Sukhoi and Vyacheslav Boguslayev.

It would seem that today it’s time for real changes, real reforms. In this situation, our experts analyzed how we could help, and it was decided to run the program on our own. To begin with to build a prototype of public health insurance on the ground of the Zaporozhye region. Technically, we have created an initiative group to handle registration of Ukrainian medical insurance pool, which will be the driving force of the reform. We expect that, starting the way from the bottom will be able to create the conditions, prerequisites to launch public health insurance nationwide.

Concerning actuality, I believe that such a system had to be introduced yesterday. Ever since the founding of the state. People need to be protected, and every person has the right to decide how to manage his money. Today, there is a situation when all parties are dissatisfied with the process – insurers, doctors and patients. Our goal is to reconcile the interests of all participants of the process.

That is, the insurance companies unite to try to change the existing healthcare system?

Creating a pool, we will be able to launch a pilot draft and to show on the example of its participants how it will work. We hope that this way we will push our country to progress in the question of citizens’ health protecting which has been about to happen for a long time. It is assumed that the pool will include large companies with significant experience having strong business reputation and public confidence. The objective of this association is also development of a common concept that can be applied in large quantities, at the level of the entire state.

Can you explain in more detail what the benefits of public health insurance for citizens are?

What is the point of the system? To say simply, it is the administration of the money that belongs to the citizens of Ukraine, but not always reaches them. We rarely think about it, but the government allocates a certain amount on health care of each of us. This amount goes past us in the Ministry of Healthcare and then spreads to medical institutions, where it is distributed at one’s pleasure. The scheme, which we offer, is fundamentally changing cash flows. Every citizen, who has a certain amount of money, can actually dispose of it, delegate his right to an insurance company or directly to medical institution and as a result obtain the necessary medical care. In this case, of course, an insurance company will be more beneficial to the citizen. As it not only acts as an intermediary between the client and the medical institution, but can control where the money has been sent and how it has been used.

What exactly is the role of an insurance company?
In case of illness of an insured person, an insurance company deals with the clinic which has been elected by the client, for his benefit. Let’s imagine the situation: a person gets to the hospital and during treatment there are some complications.  It is a standard situation, but for an ordinary person it is very difficult to protect his rights in a dispute with the hospital. But if between the citizen and the hospital there will be an intermediary, an insurance company, the dialogue will be conducted at another level. The insurance companies will have doctors-experts, medical advisers, who will see to it that there is no abuse on the part of treating institution. Why will an insurance company be interested to do it? Because there is not the only one company on the market. An insurer, being in the competitive field, will be keen to choose the best doctor, the best clinic, see to the whole process of treatment. This will improve the quality of medical care and, undoubtedly, protect our citizens from the “side effects” of medicine.

(Interview to newspaper “Nashe vremya plus”)

Date: 4 October 2014