Ukraine - Health

Ukraine's health care system is undergoing a complicated transition period. In 1992, there was a fixed level of expenses for health services (an estimated 10% of the national income). As of 1999 total health care expenditure was estimated at 4.4% of GDP. The deterioration of the economy and declining living standards have had a negative impact on birth and mortality rates and women's and children's health standards need much improvement. Although safe water was available to 96.5%, proper sanitation was available to only 70% of the urban population and 8% of the rural population in the mid-1990s. Poor nutrition is another major problem in the Ukraine, and a shortage of basic supplies exacerbates the health care situation.

The country has established 156 independent children's hospitals. As of the mid-1990s, there were over 400 pediatric departments functioning in central district hospitals, with 92,102 pediatric beds (84 per 10,000 children). There were 22,000 pediatricians (two per 1,000 children) in 1993. In the same year, there were 29 regional adult hospitals; 25 regional infant hospitals; 485 central district hospitals; 1,500 rural hospitals; and specialized dispensaries and clinics. Altogether there were a total of 700,000 hospital beds. In addition, there were 6,500 outpatient polyclinical institutions. Medical personnel in the mid-1990s included 220,000 physicians and more than 500,000 physician's assistants. As of 1999, there were an estimated 3 physicians and 11.8 hospital beds per 1,000 people.

Infant mortality was reported at 21 per 1,000 live births in 2000. There were 477,366 births in 1999; life expectancy was 68 years in 2000. As of 2002, the crude birth rate and overall mortality rate were estimated at, respectively, 10 and 16 per 1,000 people. Immunization rates for 1997 for children up to one year old were: tuberculosis, 95%; diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus, 96%; polio, 97%; and measles, 97%.

The leading causes of death were cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, cancer, traumas, and accidents. The vulnerability of this country to HIV spread is reflected in the tenfold increase in syphilis cases active in 1991–95. As of 1999, the number of people living with HIV/AIDS was estimated to be about 240,000 and deaths from AIDS that year were estimated at 4,000. HIV prevalence was 0.96 per 100 adults. In 1994 there were 8,471 tuberculosis cases and 1,416 measles cases. The incidence of tuberculosis was 73 per 100,000 people in 1999.

The likelihood of dying after age 65 of heart disease in Ukraine was below the average for medium human development as defined by the World Bank. In the mid-1990s, that rate exceeded 300 per 1,000 for men and 295 per 1,000 for women. On the other hand, cancer rates for men were higher. Death after age 65 from cancer was 133 per 1,000 people in the mid-1990s.

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