Is it easy for a solider to get a prosthesis from the state? 

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2014/09/22 • War in the Donbas

Article by: Darya Buniakina

Cherkasy – The wounded participants of the ATO will be given prosthetics without having to wait in line, at the cost of the state budget, stated the Ministry of Social Policies. An additional amount of about 300 thousand UAH will go to the cause. However, activists assure that it is practically impossible to get a free prosthesis. 

ATO participants, even without disabled status, will have the right to free prosthetics without having to wait in line. This was recently stated by Minister for Social Policies Liudmyla Denysova. If necessary, the state will even pay for treatment outside the country.

“We proposed to increase expenditures on prosthetics by 279 million. This money will be directed exclusively to give prosthetics to ATO participants. We proposed the bill to the Cabinet of Ministers, to give assistance to ATO participants who need it, including that outside of Ukraine,” said Denysova.

Besides, the Minister assured that regardless of the cost, the state will finance all prosthetics the soldiers will need. However, civil activists say that everything is different in practice. First and foremost, the ATO participant needs to collect a pile of certificates. In spite of this, he may not receive the prosthetic he had been counting on. It will turn out that that one is too expensive for the state, says consultant at the Center for Afghanistan Veteran Rehabilitation Olexandr Morozov. 

“What Minister Denysova declares regarding the price of prosthetics is not true, unfortunately. Individual instances when they pay are possible, when they need to show that the Ministry and the system work. De facto, the majority of the handicapped cannot receive the product they need,” says he.

The cost of the prosthesis depends on the patient’s level of mobility

The state-owned Cherkasy prosthesis-orthopedic factory will also make prosthetics for the soldiers fro free. However, not a single ATO participants has asked for one as of yet. The factory workers explain: the prosthetics are made of the best Japanese and German mechanisms. The cost depends only on the level of the patient’s mobility, says prosthesis mechanic Vasyl Yakovenko.

“If a person only moves around their apartment and does not go out, they agree to a prosthesis with a lock. If they are more active, we choose a more expensive prosthetic,” says he.

The cheapest prosthesis one can shower with costs seven thousand UAH at the Cherkasy prosthesis-orthopedic factory. The most expensive one, for constant use, costs up to 80 thousand.

“Some doctor says on television: don’t order the prostheses from the state. Because they have a borderline tender price, and they are young men, they need a much more expensive prosthesis. The essence of this blabber, I cannot call it otherwise, is to simply earn money on people’s troubles,” director of the factory Olexandr Diskant is convinced.

There is no mechanism to cover the cost difference of the prosthesis

Activists, however, claim that the cost of the prosthesis and its parts, which are financed by the budget, is lower than the factual cost of the product. However, the patient is unable to pay the difference between the cost of the prosthesis detailed in the budget and its real price. Because partial payments are not prescribed anywhere. Which is why people ask the volunteers for help, and order the prosthesis from private makers using the money they collect.

According to the preliminary information of the Healthcare Ministry, over three thousand ATO participants have received grave injuries and traumas. They can order free prosthesis in any specialized institution in Ukraine, regardless of their place of residence.

Translated by: Mariya Shcherbinina
Source: Radio Liberty

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