On the morning of Oct. 18, during a stormy meeting in the Odesa Regional Administration, Governor Oleh Kiper scolded Iryna Paramonova, head of the Regional Center for Emergency Medical Care and Disaster Medicine, for numerous violations and demanded she write a letter of resignation. This severe reproach on the part of the governor was video recorded by Dumskaya.net and posted on several Telegram channels. The information has also been confirmed by the regional administration.
Kiper said that an internal inspection into the ambulance service uncovered large-scale waste: the ambulance fleet was in a deplorable state, with problems of fuel, notwithstanding multimillion-dollar funding. In addition, during the audit, the center’s management was discovered to be giving themselves bonuses amounting to hundreds of thousands of hryvnia.
Paramonova, in particular, inflated her salary, and did so while cutting the pay of her employees. In general, inflated salaries to management amounted to more than Hr.2 million ($55,000) in the period from September 2022 to August 2023.
“Your employees receive salaries of 7,000 to 8,000 [hryvnias per month]. You get 150,000 to 200,000. Why do you give yourselves bonuses if your ordinary employees get nothing?” the head of the Odesa Region asks in the video.
“If your average worker earns 10,000, then you shouldn’t be getting 100,000, because there’s nothing to reward you for. You don’t do anything!” he added.
Kiper was also outraged that lawyers in the Regional Center for Emergency Medical Care receive monthly salaries of Hr.180,000 ($4,900), and the department does not have enough funds for either gasoline or equipment. This despite the fact that the Odesa Regional Center for Emergency Medical Care and Disaster Medicine received a billion hryvnia ($27 million) from the National Healthcare Service of Ukraine (NHSU).
“I have Hr.500 million ($13.5 million) in my budget and I can support the entire region for the whole winter with this money, but with such funding you have no gasoline, 30-40 percent of ambulances have not been repaired,” said an indignant Kiper.
In fact, fuel for cars was allegedly purchased from one very dubious supplier, whose only gas station is located at a distance of 60 kilometers. As a result, the teams were absent from the scene for two to three hours, and the fuel containers were carried inside the ambulance. Moreover, the contract for car repairs was signed with only one assistance point, due to which 30-40 percent of the vehicles were not usable because they were waiting for repairs.
Additionally, there were accusations of medicine shortages, with no basic accounting of inventory or suitability.
The accused manager was unable to provide an explanation regarding the expenditures of funds allocated to her center by the NHSU. So, Kiper did not even wait for the end of the meeting and called on Paramonova to write an application for dismissal. By 4 p.m. on Oct. 18, she had written the statement, according to one official regional source cited by local new outlet Novynny Odesy.
Moreover, Kiper promised that the results of the inspection will be sent to the state audit service and the prosecutor’s office. Earlier, the governor repeatedly emphasized that restoring order in the healthcare sector of the regional administration was one of his priorities.
Irina Paramonova took charge of the Center on March 15 of this year. She was appointed to the position by the head of the Odesa Regional Council Grigory Didenko, of the Servant of the People party .
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