A doctor draws blood from a patient at her house in the village of Staiky, south of Kiev, Ukraine, November 11, 2015. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko
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Paint is flaking on the damp walls and cracked ceilings of the small hospital in the Ukrainian village of Staiky and much of the equipment is over 30 years old.Soviet-era hospitals across the country of 42 million are crumbling, underpayment of medical staff continues to foster a system of bribe-taking and Ukraine's poor vaccination rate has placed it on a blacklist alongside some of the world's poorest countries, including South Sudan.Health Minister Alexander Kvitashvili, one of several foreigners appointed to ministerial positions in the hope that their outsider status and international experience would help Ukraine make good on reform promises, hoped to recreate successful reforms carried out in his native Georgia.A year after his appointment, the health bill outlining reforms is stuck in parliament.Ukraine did not buy drugs, medicines or vaccines for most of this year as the health ministry sought to approve a temporary procurement system via international organisations to bypass the compromised system that Kvitashvili hopes to reform.The temporary system was finalized in late October, and Ukraine plans to buy around $100 million of vaccines and medicines, but severe shortages remain.
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