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Nonsensical Debt...

August 2, 2012, 0:30 2438 Author: Iryna Gavrysheva, translated by Anya Gvozdyeva www.deti.zp.ua A vital apparatus at the 5th Children’s Hospital was in an urgent need of repair. A company has fixed it on credit. But debts must be paid…

There is a lot of nonsense in our country. During my time with the Fund I've seen all sorts of it and a lot of it. It would seem that nothing would come as a surprise anymore. But… sometimes the system still manages to amaze me. And it causes some nonsensical decisions to be made. Because chaos is commonplace, but, when it comes to healthcare, lives are often at risk as well. One would need to risk these lives to prove the absurdity of the system, but who would dare to do that?

Children's Hospital No.5… basically this is the main hospital for children in our city, Zaporizhzhia. Zaporozhzhia Children's A&E. Infants A&E. Hemodialysis (artificial kidney) Centre serving city’s children and adults living in the surrounding residential area. Lots more departments on top of that… and just one apparatus which can identify the amount of calcium, nitrogen and chlorine in blood. One day this device broke down. A&E and hemodialysis departments cannot function without these tests, so the operation of these departments was impeded. Having this apparatus is absolutely vital! But we were contacted by the hospital to repair it, isn’t it bizarre? Can it be that the hospital with a large budget has no spare funds to repair their equipment, especially when it’s so vital?! Apparently not!!! According to hospital’s management there isn’t any budget assigned for “repairs”, just for “general maintenance”. So one could book repairs to be completed next year (and hope to get budget signed off for that) but if something breaks down unexpectedly, there are no funds to fix that and no one has authority to re-assign other budget categories, that would be classed as misuse of funds and would be illegal!

It took us a long time to figure out what to do about that and the whole Fund was discussing this situation at length. Our opinion is unanimous that these repairs should be provided for by the budget, it’s unthinkable that lives of dozens of patients should be dependent on an ability to secure extra funds for repair of important apparatus! But at the same time we realised that those life were already dependent on that at the time. Dependent on our decision… We decided to pay for the repairs, so it could be brought back into operation and the doctors could do their job properly.

Medical Equipment is not a very popular expenses category at the Fund. Donations slow down in summer, and we were unable to spare almost seven thousand hryvnyas (861 US dollars) at such a short notice. The company which did the repairs agreed to defer the payment. They waited for a month, then two months, three months... They agreed to repair the apparatus on credit and on our guarantee to pay the debt. And so we promised... And they completed the work. Now the A&E staff can do their work again. It’s just we still don’t know how to pay the company that repaired the device. So, as usual, we are in need of your help! It is, indeed, nonsensical that right now the charity fund owes the company money for the repair of the critical hospital equipment. We will raise this with management and will try and change the system. But it’s not an overnight thing. Right now, however, we need to pay the debt of UAH 6,804 (around 837 US dollars) (Invoice). Please help us do that!

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