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Loss of functionality instead of disability: Liashko talked about the global reform of the State Expertise Commission on Disability Issues

Olha LipychSociety
Ukraine plans to carry out a comprehensive reform of the State Expertise Commission on Disability Issues

Ukraine plans to reform the Medical Expert Commission system in 2025, with one of the main changes involving a complete revision of approaches to disability assessment.

This was announced by Health Minister Viktor Liashko during a briefing in Zhytomyr on October 4, as reported by the First Zhytomyr newspaper. According to him, the global reform of the MSEC will be based on the fact that the Ministry of Health will no longer use the term "disability."

Instead, the focus will be on assessing the loss of functionality and how the state can assist individuals who have experienced a loss of functionality.

Liashko explained that, for example, if a person is injured, they will first be directed to restore their functionality through electronic tools. After that, a team will provide physical rehabilitation, occupational therapy, and speech and language therapy to help the person recover as much of their lost functionality as possible, due to the injury or illness.

If medical methods alone cannot achieve this, Liashko noted that an educational and social component, employment, and other measures should be included to address the issue.

"Sometimes, a person may have lost functionality, but this functionality can be restored by adapting the workplace, thus providing the person with the opportunity to remain economically active," the Health Minister explained.

Liashko mentioned that a draft law will be presented shortly, which will "alter the entire methodology for establishing disability."

The official attributed the lengthy implementation of these changes to the fact that incremental changes do not reform the entire system.

"We have adopted the international classifier of functioning as the national classifier in the country. We are abandoning the traditional concept of 'disability' and focusing on assessing the loss of functionality and determining what the state can do to restore this functionality," he stated.

As previously reported by OBOZREVATEL, Liashko explained that women with medical and pharmaceutical specialties would be allowed to leave Ukraine after registering with military enlistment offices. The new rules, which came into effect on October 1, 2023, do not bring changes to the conditions for border crossings when departing the country.

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