Rinat Akhmetov’s Foundation for Development of Ukraine together with Philips in Ukraine announced the results of a study assessing the health of the Ukrainians carried out in April 2013 by GfK Ukraine. The residents of Ukraine responded to the question on how they assess their health, what factors affect it, what they do to improve their health and stated the sources they take information from on treatment and prevention. The study also helped to understand how the Ukrainians differ from the people of Russia and other countries where a similar survey was carried out, and to determine the level of trust of the Ukrainians to the state of the art medical technologies.
45% of the Ukrainians consider themselves to be healthy, but do not often see the doctors
Today, generally, the Ukrainians give positive assessment to their state of health. 45% of Ukrainians described their health as "rather good" or "very good", and 42% - as "neither good nor bad." Kiev residents are more pessimistic about this issue than the Ukrainians as a whole: 21% of Kiev residents assessed their health as "rather poor" or "very bad", while the average figure in Ukraine is 13%.
"Since 2007, Rinat Akhmetov’s Foundation has been working in health care implementing two large-scale programs - "Stop TB in Ukraine" and "Cancer can be cured". In each of our programs or each project before doing anything, we study the situation from all perspectives to determine the most pressing problems and the most efficient actions. An important component is always a survey of the Ukrainians and an understanding of what is necessary from the point of view of the patient and the population in general, because we are talking about "oncology" and tuberculosis, which are so common diseases in Ukraine. After receiving the results of this survey, we were particularly concerned that more than one third of the Ukrainians rarely or never have medical check-ups: only 8% of the Ukrainians regularly visit the doctor, and the majority of the Ukrainians go to the doctor when they have problems with health (41%), or in extreme cases (37%). However, only the early diagnosis of cancer and timely visit to a doctor at the first TB symptoms (cough that lasts more than 2-3 weeks, profuse sweating at night, weakness, temperature of up to 37) make it possible to start treatment on time and complete it successfully. Having the answers to the question of what the Ukrainians see as threats to their health in the next 5 years, it was found that only 2.79% of the population consider tuberculosis to be a potential threat to the health, while the epidemic has continued in Ukraine since 1995, and the disease is airborne. A little more Ukrainians fear the spread of cancer and consider the risk of cancer in the near future (5 years) to be low. At the same time, fears of getting viral infections, flu, backache and blood pressure problems come to the fore. For us, it is a signal that it is necessary not only to teach TB doctors, develop laboratory diagnosis of tuberculosis, buy second-line drugs, build cancer centres and equip them with the most modern radiological equipment, but also to continue to inform the public about what the threat is and what opportunities they have," says Anatoly Zabolotny, Director of Rinat Akhmetov’s Foundation for Development of Ukraine.
"For Philips, as a company working in the health and wellness industry and aimed at improving the living standards, this study is a way to draw attention to the Ukrainians’ health and better understand the needs of the population in medical technologies. The results of the study in Ukraine show the need for the awareness-raising campaigns involving the timely diagnosis for effective treatment of diseases and health care. We, for our part, will offer technologies and solutions that as precisely and fully meet the needs of the Ukrainians as possible and provide for them," said Maksim Kuznetsov, CEO of Philips in Ukraine.
The most important indicators for the Ukrainians determining their health and welfare are the environment (important for 84%), general physical condition (80%), stress level (80%) and the cost of living (78%).
30% of the Ukrainian population seek information on the diagnosis and treatment primarily from the doctors, 29% - from friends and relatives. The situation is similar in Russia: 32% of the Russians will seek information on the diagnosis and treatment from the doctors and the same number will seek advice from friends and relatives. In Germany, 60% of respondents will go to the doctor and only 15% - to friends or relatives.
Most Ukrainians see the doctor when they have health problems (41%) or in extreme cases (37%). In this case, women have more responsible attitude to their health: the majority of women (48%) go to the doctor when they have problems, and the majority of men (44%) put off a visit to the doctor to the "extreme case".
More than half of Ukrainians are positive about the impact of technologies on their lifestyle and health. 53% of Ukrainians believe that the technology will change their lives in the next 10 years (for comparison, in Russia 61% of respondents say so, in the USA – 79%, Germany – 67%). Almost half of the Ukrainians (46%) and Russians (47%) believe that medical technologies will keep them healthy up to old age and will help them live longer.