14:39 05.02.2021

Medical Law in Ukraine: Condition, Problems, Possible Consequences

3 min read
Medical Law in Ukraine: Condition, Problems, Possible Consequences

Scheduled On Monday, February 8, at 11.00 at Interfax-Ukraine 

ORGANIZERS: Federation of Public Medical Associations of Ukraine and the Association of Private Medical Institutions of Ukraine

The BROADCAST of the press conference will be available here.

PARTICIPANTS: First Deputy Minister of Health of Ukraine Iryna Sadoviak, People's Deputy of Ukraine, Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Committee on National Health, Medical Assistance and Health Insurance Mykhailo Radutsky, Corresponding member of NAMSU, Doctor of Medical Sciences, Professor, Honored Doctor of Ukraine, President of the Ukrainian Federation of Professional Medical Associations and State Prize of Ukraine laureate Vyacheslav Kaminsky,  Board Member of the Association of Private Medical Institutions of Ukraine, and State Prize laureate Valeriy Zukin and medical lawyer, adviser to the Minister of Health of Ukraine, people's deputy of the VIII convocation, Vice-president of the Ukrainian Federation of Professional Medical Associations Iryna Sysoenko.

Additional information on tel. (073) 320-30-82, info@apmi.com.ua (Tatiana, Secretary of the Association of Private Medical Institutions of Ukraine); (067) 721-96-19 (Andrey Tkachenko, Ukrainian Federation of Professional Medical Associations).

The situation in Ukraine

The number of "medical" cases in Ukraine is growing steadily.

The facts in brief:

  • Two criminal proceedings are opened daily in Ukraine against doctors (data of Ukraine's Prosecutor General's Office), and about half of them are against obstetricians-gynecologists.
  • Some nine out of ten charged doctors are found guilty in Ukrainian courts, with punishment per Article 140 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (based on Unified State Register of Court Decisions)

According to the Ukrainian Medical Union, many doctors are victims of online bullying (online and social media grievances). Media are very willing to publish "revealing" materials. Of course, there are many tragedies in medicine. A doctor is a person who stands between life and death. The doctor is not always successful. We do not deny the need to bring truthful information to the public. But often difficult cases, even for the professional community, are absolutely clear for journalists. The doctor is liable for unsuccessful treatment, and the journalist immediately becomes both a prosecutor and a judge. But he forgets that according to the Constitution of Ukraine, anyone can be found guilty only by a court ruling.

Ukrainian legislation does not have a clear definition of the term "medical error" or "improper performance of professional duties by a medical or pharmaceutical worker" (Criminal Code of Ukraine, Article 140). This legal ambiguity does not protect the rights of doctors and patients.

What are the consequences of the current situation?

1. The public confidence in doctors is decreasing. This leads to a delay in seeking medical attention in severe cases. The recent death of a woman in labor after giving birth at home in Rivne is the best example of mistrust in doctors.

2. The hard work of physicians is oftentimes unappreciated. They receive low wages and are constantly at risk. Therefore, young doctors either leave their profession or go to work abroad. And the labor migration trends of doctors and nurses are growing every year.

3. After graduating from a medical university/ institute, medical students either leave the profession immediately, or avoid the most difficult specialties - surgeon, obstetrician-gynecologist, pediatrician.

What are our suggestions?

1. Improvement of legislation on medical law.

2. Increasing the role of professional associations in the examination of controversial cases.

3. Compulsory medical liability insurance.

4. Regulation of media coverage of medical issues.

5. Increase the responsibility for the use of violence against a health worker in the performance of his professional duties.