Kyiv, Ukraine – The ongoing transformation and modernization of Ukraine’s healthcare system was dealt a blow this week when a Kyiv District Court judge issuing a bizarre ruling that prohibited Dr. Ulana Suprun, the country’s Minister of Healthcare, from performing her duties. Having lost the battle in parliament in October 2017, and with sociology showing the key elements of the reform being solidly popular, the medical mafia retreated to the murky court system in a last ditch effort to thwart the transformation of the healthcare system. Now the country’s progress in healthcare hangs in the balance as the battle continues in the courts next week.
Serhiy Karakashiyan, an odious judge, from Kyiv’s notorious District Administrative Court, issued the dictate on February 5th stating that Dr. Suprun could not serve as an “Acting Minister” for more than a period of a month, and also made mention of her citizenship. Based on these arguments, Karakashiyan prohibited Dr. Suprun from performing her duties as the Acting Minister of Healthcare. However, the basis for the ruling is dubious. Dr. Suprun has served as the Acting Minister of Health since her appointment by the Cabinet of Ministers, led by Premier Volodymyr Groysman, since August 2016. The post of Minister, which requires parliamentary approval, has been vacant since April 2016. Constitutionally, the Parliament is responsible for approving government ministers, but in their dereliction of duty, the Cabinet of Ministers can appoint Acting Ministers. Without Acting Ministers, medicines can’t get to patients, hospitals can’ receive state funding, and medical professionals can’t be paid. For example, currently, more than $23 million dollars of medicine is held hostage by Karakashiyan’s ruling and is prevented from getting to patients and doctors.