Tatyana Bakhteeva: Any contribution to saving lives is important

Ukrainian philanthropic charitable initiatives are the clear example of the social responsibility in business. But alas, the existing tax system is not stimulating business activities in the social sphere.
Taking into account the health condition of our citizens and the limited availability of health services, any contribution to saving the lives and health can not be evaluated other than as important and necessary.

Speaking about the brightest examples of the professional systematic approach to charity, first of all I would mention Rinat Akhmetov, his “Development of Ukraine” and the Victor Pinchuk Foundation. Two biggest philanthropists not only implement the most extensive and long-term social projects, to which annually millions of hryvnia are allocated, they apply complex approach to solve complicated social problems.

Project “Stop TB in Ukraine” implemented by Rinat Akhmetov Foundation “Development of Ukraine” is a significant support to the National program to control tuberculosis .Over UAH 150 million were allocated for this project. Foundation also became a major recipient of the Global Fund grant for the TB component to the amount of $95 million; this is the evidence that the Foundation has proved the effectiveness of resource management in TB control in fact rather than in words.

Another project implemented by Foundation “Development of Ukraine” is no less important, “Cancer Can Be Cured”, aimed at the establishing of modern diagnostic and treatment centers in the regions, purchase of modern technical equipment. Material basis of oncology clinics is hopelessly outdated, and the budget (in 2010 UAH 273 milion) is sufficient only for drug procurement.

As a result, in Ukraine 442 new cases of cancer are registered, and 239 people die every day. Today, for most Ukrainians, unlike the U.S. and Europe, the diagnosis of cancer is, unfortunately, the death sentence, due to limited capacities of domestic medicine for early diagnosis and treatment of cancer. And only early diagnosis and use of high-tech up-to-date treatment methods make it possible to cure 70% of patients.

Victor Pinchuk Foundation Project “Cradles of Hope” is also essential for the country. Its main purpose is to save life and health of each child, to reduce mortality in children. (At present, babies in Ukraine die twice as more often than in Western Europe, with 9,26 deaths per 1,000 births. This indicator made the country rank in 2010 the 67th in the list of 195 countries (along with Uruguay, Trinidad and Tobago. – Delo.ua).

The network of neonatal centers is established throughout Ukraine equipped with new and high quality appliances, training for doctors provided. 22 centers were opened till now.

Of course, the contribution of Elena Pinchuk’ ANTIAIDS foundation needs to be mentioned in terms of HIV/AIDS control in Ukraine. Every day nearly 60 Ukrainian citizens are diagnosed with HIV. Education campaigns conducted by ANTIAIDS ensure that people in Ukraine can know more about this problem and no longer perceive it as others issue. Although Ukraine keeps leading in Eastern Europe by the growth rate of new HIV/AIDS cases, these rates have decreased threefold over the past 5 years .

These charitable initiatives are the clear example of the social responsibility in business. The amount of donor contributions is growing every year, and this is an encouraging fact. Yet, the existing tax system is not stimulating business activities in the social sphere.

Ukrainian legislation provides for exemption from income tax expenses on philanthropy, sponsorship and charity, but the amounts that are subject to these tax benefits are too modest. According to the new Tax Code of Ukraine it can not be more than 4% of taxable profit of the previous financial year (Article 138.10. 6 Tax Code). Comparing to U.S., contributions, which are listed in the charities are exempt from taxes.

In France, the fiscal system in relation to charitable activities is not that loyal. But anyway, their legislation regulating philanthropy has significantly changed in recent years, that simplified life of philanthropists, including the process of establishing a new fund, and tax laws have become more lenient .

At the same time Ukrainian legislation governing the charities activities established a lot of obstacles that significantly complicate the charitable initiatives. Due to administrative barriers the number of charitable foundations in Ukraine is four times less than in neighboring Poland.

Today the Parliament of Ukraine submitted a draft law “On charity and charitable organizations,” that sets the general provisions on charitable activities in Ukraine. Our committee will certainly support this law.

Tatyana Bakhteyeva, Head of the parliamentary committee on health care for delo.ua

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