USAID’s SAFEMed Activity Provides Support to Open Medical Central Procurement Agency

 {Photo credit: Igor Dashevskiy}Left to right: Arsen Zhumadilov, Head of Ukraine's Central Procurement Agency, Zoryana Skaletska, Ukrainian Ministry of Health, and Susan Fritz, USAID Mission Director to Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova.Photo credit: Igor Dashevskiy

On October 2, 2019, Ukraine’s Ministry of Health (MOH) opened the doors of its Medical Central Procurement Agency (CPA), a new type of Ukrainian organization driven by a strong vision to improve access to medicines and prevent corruption. Established in October 2018 with support from USAID and other development partners, the CPA will gradually take over the procurement of medicinal products, which is currently performed by international organizations, while establishing systems for more effective use of public funds. 

USAID provided much of the support to develop the facility through its SAFEMed and Transparency and Accountability in Public Administration and Services activities, which are implemented by Management Sciences for Health and the Eurasia Foundation, respectively. The Global Fund, the Renaissance Foundation, UNDP, and UNICEF also provided support. 

The office opening was a significant milestone for the CPA, which in a year’s time has developed a strong vision for its work, successfully initiated procurement for the Global Fund, and grown into a multidisciplinary team of 25 local experts skilled in different aspects of public procurement. 

The event was attended by Minister of Health Ms. Zoryana Skaletska; First Deputy Minister of Health Dr. Andriy Semyvolos; Chair of the Verkhovna Rada Health Committee Dr. Mykhail Radutsky; and USAID’s Regional Mission Director to Ukraine, Belarus, and Moldova, Ms. Susan Fritz; as well as other representatives of diplomatic missions, donor organizations, and NGOs. 

“We believe that close cooperation with the regional partners and health care providers will help the Central Procurement Agency to quickly respond to specific needs within Ukraine,” said Ms. Fritz. “USAID is ready to continue our cooperation with the Ministry of Health. We would like to see a smooth and gradual transition of procurements from international agents to an in-house team of high-caliber professionals.” 

During the ceremony, MOH representatives emphasized the importance of effective and transparent procurement of medicines in Ukraine, adding that they have high expectations for the agency and its success. The Minister stressed the critical importance of the CPA remaining an independent, transparent, and accountable procurement body.