Monday, November 09, 2009

Scoring cheap points

My last blog on president Yushchenko's national address on the flu epidemic has been placed in Taras Kuzio's 'Ukrainska Pravda' Blog - There's has been quite a number of comments, some mentioning the impracticality of the president possibly cancelling last Wednesday's European Champion's League soccer game in Kyiv, even though the WHO had warned the epidemic was quickly spreading to the Kyiv area.

All I can say is that in response to a flu epidemic in Mexico City, which has about 20 million inhabitants, important soccer games and baseball games were played in empty stadiums, or in parts of the country less affected by flu last April, at great cost to the clubs and their owners.

It is not my intention to down-play the effects of the current flu epidemic in Ukraine - several friends of mine and their families have been seriously affected.

Many people will suffer from swine flu even in those countries were large sums of money have been spent to provide adequate supplies of antiviral drugs, vaccines, intensive care facilities, and laboratories to quickly identify new strains of flu virus in patients. In Ukraine, where there are serious shortages in all of these, swine flu is inevitably going to hit hard. And sadly, there is no reason to expect the medical profession in the country to be any less corrupt or uphold ethical standards better than other members of Ukrainian society.

But Ukraine's leading politicians and parties should not use the epidemic for scoring cheap political points against their rivals. Most of the electorate know that no-one would have performed any better that their rivals in this situation.


elmer said...

Therein lies the crux, the heart of the matter.

When any analysis of Ukraine is reduced to comparisons with a corrupt, sick country like Mexico, which is also run by corrupt thug oligarchs - that tells anyone a lot about Ukraine.

UkrToday said...

Any attempt of suggestion that the Presidential; elections be deferred should trigger impeachment proceedings to have Yushchenko removed from office and Lytvyn appointed caretaker president with limited power until the elections can be held.

In the United states 21,000 flu related deaths occur every year. On a per capita basis Ukraine has not hit the panic button as yet.

although it does seem strange that Yushchenko passes a bill that he should have vetoes and then opposes a bill that seeks to fund medication to combat the spread of the flu virus. the men in white coats should have been called in long ago. Politics are best left out and any assessment of "state of emergency" should only come from WHO not Yush.

elmer said...

Here is a very good article from the New York Times about Ukraine's really, really bad health care system. What have the oligarch/thugs who have a stranglehold no government in Ukraine been doing since 1994? Since 2004? Well, Yanuk, for one, goes to Spain for his medical treatment (knee surgery).

Though health care is officially free, patients typically pay a stream of cash bribes for services as large as X-rays and as small as blood tests or linen changes.