The Special Assistance Programme for Eastern Ukraine concluded “Strategic development in healthcare facilities during the healthcare reform” project. The largescale project strengthened the management of healthcare facilities to help their provision of economically viable, demand-oriented and improved services to population of Donetsk and Luhansk regions (Oblasts).

Ongoing reform processes and work in the conflict-affected region pose big challenges for the management of healthcare facilities to organize the effective functioning of the hospitals of all levels in the region and ensure high-quality medical services to the population.

The new reform processes that resulted in healthcare facilities becoming more autonomous, as well as changes in the principles of financial management, triggered competition mechanisms among them. Under the new circumstances, the management of the facilities needs to have new skill sets in order to organize the financial processes and make correct managerial decisions to offer the best services to the patients.

The project “Strategic development in healthcare facilities during the healthcare reform” is designed to strengthen the management teams of healthcare facilities to live up to the changes posed by the reform processes in making the facilities they run more economically viable and competitive to offer the best scope of medical services to the patients. To succeed, each healthcare facility needs a viable strategy.

So, why the strategy is so important and how can it help?

The newly created competitive mechanisms in the healthcare system rewards those healthcare facilities who attract and treat the most patients. With the good strategy in place, the facilities can determine specific types of services they provide best (e.g., laboratory diagnostics); provide treatment to specific groups/types of patients (e.g., children or patients with cancer); or offer services to specific territorial groups, e.g., population of a certain territorial community or patients in rural areas. Such special services attract patients, allow improvements of services and are awarded by the health care system.

The Project started in November 2020 and lasted until June 2021.

Over this period, five local experts from our partner organization “Change Agency “Perspectives” supported healthcare facilities with strengthening their strategic planning skills.

At the first stage, the experts worked out the methodology for the development of strategy and operational planning.

In the later stage, the experts conducted 20 workshops for the participants from selected partner communities. Based on the project’s specific purpose, management and financial staff of healthcare facilities were the main audiences and five to seven representatives of each facility were invited to participate. To ensure a proper communication and links between all the systems and processes, representatives of city councils were also invited to the workshops.

15 healthcare facilities of primary and secondary level from the following partner territorial communities were invited to take part in the project:

  • Dobropilska
  • Mykolaivska
  • Selidivska
  • Lymanska
  • Novohrodivska
  • Manhushska
  • Shakhivska
  • Pokrovska
  • Starobilska
  • Bilovodska
  • Chmyrivska
  • Novoaidarivska
  • Markivska

In late June 2021, the final online event of the project took place, which marked the completion of the hard work of all participants over the recent 7 months. The participants exchanged views, challenges, ideas, and summarized the main results. In the end, the expert team presented a manual on Strategic development for municipal healthcare facilities-providers of specialized healthcare services, which will help hospitals in the future (available in Ukrainian now, will be translated into English soon).