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Ulana Suprun, MD on the COVID-19 Epidemic in Ukraine
July 7, 2020 @ 12:00 pm - 1:45 pm
Please join the Ukrainian Studies Program at the Harriman Institute, Columbia University for a webinar entitled “Neglected Infections: How the COVID-19 Epidemic in Ukraine was Compounded by Institutional Incompetency and Media Malpractice” with Ulana Suprun, MD, moderated by Professor Mark Andryczyk.
COVID-19 was recognized as an outbreak in China on December 31, 2019, and declared a Public Health Emergency by the WHO on January 30, 2020. Ukraine’s government had two months to prepare a plan before the first case was diagnosed on March 3, 2020. Due to the comorbidity of “neglected infections” such as weak government institutions and constant disinformation campaigns as part of Russia’s hybrid war against Ukraine, the response was chaotic in its implementation and communication. The crisis has revealed the need for the creation of strong, independent institutions and information hygiene measures to ensure resiliency.
Ulana Suprun, M.D., is currently head of the NGO ArcUA, a newly formed Ukrainian think tank providing analysis and research and creating solutions in the spheres of healthcare, media and government relations, national security and culture. Dr. Suprun served as the Acting Minister of Health of Ukraine from July 2016 until August 2019. She is the founder and former director of the NGO Patriot Defence, founder of the School for Rehabilitation Medicine at the Ukrainian Catholic University, and former director of Humanitarian Initiatives for the Ukrainian World Congress.
During her time as minister, Dr. Suprun and her team passed a sweeping healthcare transformation into law. This transformation repealed the failed Soviet system, and replaced it with a modern system based on international best practices. The new system focuses on primary care, provides state insurance for every Ukrainian citizen, establishes a guaranteed package of healthcare services, increasing healthcare workers’ salaries to market levels, cuts corruption and bribes in the medical system, and offers a reimbursement for medicines program for patients suffering from chronic diseases. As an indication of its success, over the course of one year, more than 28 million Ukrainians signed up for the new healthcare system.