Ukraine’s Acting Health Minister Reportedly Suspended from her Duties
5 February, 2019

Update: On February 12, Ulana Suprun's press secretary Natalie Usatenko contacted Hromadske to say that Suprun had taken "all the necessary steps to revoke her U.S. citizenship." She further clarified that the acting Health Minister had written a declaration renouncing her U.S. citizenship.

According to the Ukrainian State Migration Service, the next step after writing such a declaration is to "return the passport to the corresponding foreign authority and to stop exercising the rights of a citizen of that country." However, Usatenko could not clarify whether Suprun has taken this step.

A Kyiv court has banned acting Health Minister Ulana Suprun from performing her ministerial duties until the completion of the court case against her, Radical Party MP Ihor Mosiychuk told Hromadske.

Mosiychuk was the one who filed the lawsuit against Suprun, claiming that she was incompetent and unable to fulfil her duties. He noted that this is a partial satisfaction of the claim. A court hearing is set for February 15.

The Health Ministry have stated that they found out about the decision from media reports and they are now consulting with lawyers.

The district administrative court later clarified the details of Suprun’s suspension, stating that while she is banned from performing her ministerial duties, she is not banned from exercising the powers delegated to her as deputy minister.

The court also stated that the decision was based on “the presence of signs of obvious unlawfulness.” They also took into account the plaintiff’s argument that Suprun gained Ukrainian citizenship in 2015 and still maintains her U.S. citizenship, which is not permitted by law.

Both the British and Swiss ambassadors to Ukraine have expressed concern on Twitter over Suprun’s suspension and the implications it may have Ukraine’s healthcare reform.

The Ukrainian Cabinet of Minister’s representative in parliament Vadym Denysenko has told Hromadske that the government intends on appealing the court decision.

This news comes four months after Ukraine's Cabinet of Ministers backed a decree on the dismissal of the acting health minister. The draft of the decree was submitted by the Opposition Bloc's Ihor Shurma and Oleksandr Vilkul back in January 2017.

READ MORE: Parliament Committee Calls For Suprun’s Dismissal

The Verkhovna Rada Committee on Health Care approved a resolution, which described her performance as unsatisfactory and appealed to the government to dismiss her, on April 3, 2018. Amid criticism of Suprun, Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Committee chair Olga Bohomolets, said there has been a decrease in vaccination levels, disruption of international drug procurement and a reduction of state funding for treatment of cancer and cardiovascular diseases.

Ukraine's Priamyi TV channel, which has ties to the government, reported on December 13 that Suprun would be resigning. But the health minister disproved this information.

Suprun, who was appointed the acting head of Ukraine's Health Ministry in August 2016, was the driving force behind the country's big-scale medical reform.

READ MORE: Ukraine Approves Crucial Law on Healthcare