Interfere very much. Interview with Kvitashvili

Мешали очень сильно. Интервью с Квиташвили

Kvitashvili satisfied with what has been done in the medical system, although notes that many prevented him very much

The ex-Minister of health Alexander Kvitashvili gave an interview to a magazine Reporter.

Alexander, or Sandro Kvitashvili, former health Minister of Georgia, the Ukrainians in a similar position will be remembered, perhaps first and foremost by a series of scandals — there is no vaccine against rabies, opaque organised tenders for the supply of dialysis — and even a dozen of the same scandals that shook the Ministry of health of Ukraine the last two years and appears to be hopelessly ruined her image of Sandro, writes Alice Svetlakov in No. 18 publication date may 13, 2016. Looking back, the ex-Minister analyzes his failures and victories.

The Committee discussed the football

— Start with the most important critics of the Ministry of health. She came from the representatives of the Bloc of Petro Poroshenko, but you the President was invited for the position of head of MH… Why it happened?

— Criticism — totally normal, nothing wrong there. But there is constructive criticism and there is criticism goes… When in a rivalry, are the claims that, say, I will not vote for something signed by you… It is a confrontation, it is impacting.

Мешали очень сильно. Интервью с Квиташвили

Photo By Sergey Sukhorukov

Who went to such a confrontation?

Oleg Musiy [ex-Minister of health, Kvitashvili predecessor], for example, said it is crucial that all the bills that have been submitted by the government were formally withdrawn. I don’t know why. Mr. [Victor] Chumak, member of the relevant Committee, emotionally explained to me why he didn’t vote for my resignation, ” he didn’t want to release me from office, at my request, and wanted to fire me, to deprive of Ministerial portfolio. This is insanity.

Sabotaged and the adoption of important bills, which paralyzed the work of the Ministry: they lie in Parliament since the beginning of June last year, in the first reading only one of them was adopted a week ago

Sabotaged and the adoption of important bills, which paralyzed the work of the Ministry: they lie in Parliament since the beginning of June last year, in the first reading only one of them was adopted a week ago, under the new government. Thank God that at least so — many months of work went down the drain.

— Targeted negative PR against the Ministry of health still exist? Did you feel resistance?

— Well, Yes. The health Ministry is such a Ministry, where it is impossible to please everyone and make everyone happy. Ukraine has a very great influence on people’s opinions having media. There were very many invited papers, sabotage. But it’s part of life, it is impossible to pay attention. You need to go ahead and do your thing.

— You told me that last time didn’t go to committees, because supposedly you laughed, didn’t give you the words. Such facts really took place?

— I stopped going there since October of 2015. Then frequented exclusively, when preparing reports on their work. And was surprised when instead of the important topics discussed was the admission of Church members in the hospital, the football world Cup and other similar things. Initially, I did not miss one of the Committee, regularly attended all of the meetings, when conducted constructive work. But then it turned out that the Committee is inefficient, doesn’t really do anything. Some games only…

The word I really did not give, referring to the regulations, to other formal reasons. I just stopped wasting your time and nerves and go there. I came to Ukraine not to engage in politics and to Shine on the TV screens, and then go to the voters and to beg for votes — I came to work.

When all sessions are conducted with the cameras, there’s too much of populism, show and work the audience. This, unfortunately, does not help to reform

And when all meetings are held with the cameras, there’s too much of populism, show and work the audience. This, unfortunately, does not help to reform. If the health Committee has decided for one meeting, three questions — it was a great achievement. In an update committees discussed 20 questions at a time. Still on the Committee there was a problem with the quorum — many just got up and left, and the remaining number of people was not enough for decision-making. Such frivolous attitude didn’t motivate me to go to those meetings — I spent this time on other productive work.

Мешали очень сильно. Интервью с Квиташвили

Photo By Sergey Sukhorukov

— And when the moment of truth? What happened and who you’ve stepped on the tail?

— It happened in may, we then worked on several different projects, which to many might seem inconvenient, unprofitable. But all this is just guesswork, and I would like to operate with facts.

Double standards

— Who slowed down the reforms in the Ministry of health, in Parliament?

— The Ministry of health no one hindered. We had a great team — I had great closure, many still in their seats. But to begin reforms, laws are needed. The basic laws we have, and without them, changes in the structure will not. I found the old files in the Internet, to track dynamics of work… So, March 30, 2015 I sent Olga Bogomolets first draft [draft] bill. Today we have a may 2016… These bills remained in the computer Happy more than a year is a good indicator of who are against reforms and their implementation, who did not allow the process to begin.

Basically, when making decisions of paramount importance were personal questions

In the Committee there were people who tried to do something, — Iryna sysoyenko, Konstantin Arinich. They supported reform. But mostly when making decisions of paramount importance were personal questions. [Oleg] Musiya had problems with [Arseniy] Yatsenyuk — he was irritated by suggestions voiced by the former Prime Minister. The petitioner may have had some ambitions regarding the Ministry, it is difficult to judge.

— What is the personal gain, for example, of Muse or petitioner that some of the reforms were never carried out?

— Musy was very happy when used 99% of the text of our bill, which he allegedly copied, and signed up as an author. That is, his name stands under the reformist laws. Perhaps it is his personal ambition or something else, it’s hard for me to judge. Bogomolets at the private clinic, which is well developed and works. But publicly she’s opposed to private medicine. It is a double standard. Musy said a brilliant phrase during the hearings in Parliament that he is not against private medicine, if it is public… If I did someone else explain what that means…

— You initially were in the group of 12 experts who were to develop a reform program for the Ministry of health and subsequently to implement them — in the period up to 2025. That is, you planned to stay in Ukraine for the next 11 years?

— A group of experts selected for this mission, had to complete its work. Our task was to draw up an action plan until 2025, but its implementation is not necessary to deal exclusively with the same people. We completed this work in February 2015. This program was funded by the parliamentary group Renaissance — there have set a goal to gather people who can develop the strategy. This program was presented and adopted at the meeting of the national reform Council. And already from this group and I got into the Ministry.

Мешали очень сильно. Интервью с Квиташвили

Photo By Sergey Sukhorukov

— That is at least something you allowed to do?

— Actually I had a lot to do.

And all subsequent Ministers of health will work, adhering to this plan?

— I hope so. Because the reforms it is essential to respect the continuity. The problem in Ukraine with the health care reform is that every Minister starts from scratch, rather than continuing the previous vector. The new Minister should not do it. In Georgia, for example, the government changed three times, but the reforms did not stop — every new Minister just continued the work begun by his predecessor.

Groisman? Look!..

— The last time you spoke with President Poroshenko? He expressed his thanks for the work done?

— Yes. The last time we met with the President during voting in the Verkhovna Rada. He thanked all of us for the work, and was pleased to receive a good grade. In the East much has been done, these results now will bear positive fruit. I hope that the government [Vladimir] Groisman will continue the line that began a year ago. At least in the direction of medicine his rhetoric is very correct, and I have nothing but support for him, I can’t say.

— With its Help, you contact?

— No. I haven’t had contact after his appointment, but see what he says, hear his public speech.

— Do you believe in Groisman as the country needs the Prime Minister?

— Yes, I believe in Groisman. On the basis of the statements which he has already done, and what I saw after his work in the winery, I can say that he is a good Manager and a Manager. Let’s see… yesterday I spoke with the new I. O., Ministry of health Victor Szafranski. Told him that after the may holidays ready to get to work in any kind of aid. I asked to find a good candidate and was initially told that will give him all their business and knowledge.

— How, in your opinion, will operate the new Cabinet?

— It is a political Cabinet, but at the current stage of development, perhaps this was the right decision. To break the deadlock, it is necessary a good cooperation between the Parliament and the government. Based on the fact that 90% of the current Ministers come from Parliament, I think that this factor should play in the country at hand. I’m generally an optimist and I am sure that in Ukraine everything will be fine. Yes, a lot of time lost but, on the other hand, the country has gained experience. Look at the ministries — there are many young deputies who have come to believe that they can change the country.

— You resigned in July 2015. The deputies did not accept. Why did this happen?

— I think I set an absolute record for my resignation voted four times and always in vain. I repeatedly tried to find the answer to this question. Everyone had a different motivation, and it’s hard for me to understand what happened.

— In February 2016, when you read the report, the deputies shouted insults. How did you react and what stands sounded derogatory lines?

— I don’t think anybody from our government deserved insults on the part of the deputies. I don’t remember how we were called names, but they were full of degrading insults. The main “screamer” was Yury Lutsenko, but there were others — in front of the cameras they tried to pour out a stream of accusations. I think it was a show, mostly because this was done by those people who never did anything for the country, just hang out in front of the cameras. Of course, it’s frustrating, because we worked, were laid to the maximum, without any outside support. And this assessment…

Loads of physical and emotional

— And you spoke with other Ministers-foreigners — [Aivaras] Abromavicius, [Natalia] Yaresko — about what is happening in Ukraine?

— When we worked in the Cabinet of Ministers, met regularly, went along to lunch or dinner, discussing important work issues. But after Abromavicius I, unfortunately, have not seen. As Yaresko— we haven’t seen after the collapse of the government. We all have now is the process of detoxification and Alesha Pavlenko and Andrei Pivovarsky. All of them, superherose people have done a lot changed, including people’s thinking, the attitude of society to the government. And they showed a good example.

— Detoxification… do You think that working in the government acts on men like poison?

— Now I Wake up in the morning and not think about the next decision, the little things, the formalities. I still can’t get used to the suddenly appeared freedom.

— Your family is watching what is happening? Persuaded, perhaps, to drop everything and return home?

— My wife and son live in new York, and my mother in Tbilisi. It all looks, reads all the news. And insists I come out and publicly responded to criticism in my address. My relatives are generally very passionate about what is happening, but I’m sure that working conditions have long been accustomed, and they find it difficult. Mom, for example, few days ago I watched on inter were made by the petitioner. Don’t know what she was told, but mom insisted that I necessarily looked at it and told her. But throw all no one asks.

When I worked in Georgia, I got a barrage of criticism, and all of these burden — physical and emotional — it was difficult to make without family support. To me personally it is very difficult to live apart from them. But living there, I could hardly give them enough attention. The first six-seven months in the Ministry I worked seven days a week, without holidays, with a minimum amount of sleep.

— After the dismissal of Mikhail Saakashvili invited you to Odessa? Did not want to join his team?

— We are now in different areas — I am a Minister, a Manager, he’s a politician… In Odessa, I went last summer, we met, saw each other a couple of times in Kiev. I’m not interested in politics and do not want to do. Moreover, now in Ukraine this is not the right time. Therefore at his command I do not see myself

What is necessary for Ukraine to change the situation for the better? We survived two revolutions and all the changes there.

— These two revolutions did not lead to a change of the political elite in Ukraine.

The same people remain in power. And that’s bad because, if you do not change the political elite, there is a class of managers, it is not necessary to wait for and change

The same people remain in power. And that’s bad because, if you do not change the political elite, there is a class of managers, it is not necessary to wait and change. Maybe the people sitting in the current Parliament, nice, clean, great patriots. But if they sit there for 20 years, believe me, they won’t suddenly change something and contribute innovative ideas. When in Parliament I see people whom I know from childhood, I find it hard to believe they would do something revolutionary.

Young came into power in the Parliament and the Ministry, you need two key points: normal salary and the opportunity to implement their ideas

Young came into power in the Parliament and the Ministry, you need two key points: normal salary and the opportunity to implement their ideas. I believe that soon all this will happen and Ukraine will be all right.

TOP 10 scandals Kvitashvili

April 2015. The reporters found that in medical institutions is almost over, the vaccine against rabies. It is not bought since then, as Alexander Kvitashvili was appointed Minister of health.

May 2015. Oksana Korchynska, the first Deputy head of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on health, accused the leadership of the Ministry of health and personally Kvitashvili of sabotaging the direction of seriously ill soldiers ATO for treatment abroad.

May 2015. 66 people’s deputies appealed to the Cabinet with a description of the critical situation that supposedly happened in the health care system of Ukraine and the inactivity of the Ministry of health in providing for the procurement of medicines, including medicines for the ATO. The statement also contained a message that Kvitashvili completely ignores the reforms in health care.

July 2015. Kvitashvili has filed a lawsuit in the District administrative court of Kyiv, asking it to forbid Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk to assess the results of his work.

July 2015. The Minister resigned. But she was never considered.

August 2015. The people’s Deputy Oleg Musy accused the health Ministry and personally the Minister for the death of six severe patients, the treatment of which abroad of budget funds were allocated. Abroad they never made it.

August 2015. The people’s Deputy Oleksandra Kuzhel reported the total deficit of vaccines that prevent the development of dangerous diseases — rabies, botulism, tetanus, snake bites.

September 2015. The Ministry of health after a long silence acknowledged the epidemic of poliomyelitis in Western Ukraine. Disease, cases of which in Europe had not been registered since 2010, has come back from a record low level of vaccination of children in Transcarpathia. According to the chief infectiologist of the region, vaccinated against polio were only 14% of infants, vaccines are universally absent.

September 2015. The Ministry of health has submitted to the Parliament a package of bills to reform medicine, but Parliament miserably failed, and Olga Bohomolets, member of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on health, accused the authors of trying to bankrupt the medical agencies on the ground.

January 2016. The staff of the sanatorium for tuberculosis patients in Yaremche refused to let Roman Vasilishin, Deputy Minister of health, to the kitchen, where was preparing food for sick children. Vasilishin came to inspect the institution in connection with complaints of the horrible conditions of patients.

February 2016. Kvitashvili publicly quarrels with members of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on health care and accusing them of corruption. “I have seven months did not go to the meeting of the Committee, he said. — I stopped going to the committees in October, when they ignored me when I laughed.


This article was published in No. 18 of the magazine Reporter on may 13, 2016. Reprinting of publications of magazine Correspondent in full is prohibited. The rules of use of materials of the journal Correspondent, published on the website Корреспондент.net can be found here.