Ukraine is a newly independent state with a population of about 48 million. It inherited its national health system from the USSR. The Soviet system was conceived as part of a massively expensive socialist planning economy that was generally delivering poor value for money. Some aspects of the Soviet health system were, however, undoubtedly sound and certain public health measures were superior to those in the West. For example, infant mortality, despite possible underreporting, was probably lower in the USSR than in many Western countries (Anderson & Silver, 1986). The health system became increasingly corrupt and inefficient during the final years of the USSR's existence. Since independence, the health system has not been a state priority and has been chronically under-funded. In the past few years of rapid economic development in Ukraine, the share of the state budget allocated to the health system has remained static, leaving Ukraine in a disadvantaged state compared with other European countries (United Nations, 2007).