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Ukraine's Healthcare Ministry enmeshed in the public corruption scandal

Author : Semen Gluzman

An open letter of Ukrainian psychiatrist and human rights activist Semen Gluzman to the Prime Minister of Ukraine
14:55, 20 September 2018

Open source

Dear Volodymyr Borysovych!

I am not going to dress it up while writing this text, - I have an increasing feeling of nausea. Since in a state governed by the rule of law, where the Prime Minister controls the activities of his subordinates, ministers, it is not necessary to write and explain such things. Well, we live and work in a different state.

I understand that your sincere feelings for acting minister Suprun will not fade after reading my letter. Nevertheless, I consider it necessary to inform you of the following.

The Ukrainian Monitoring Center for Drugs and Alcohol has been functioning for a long time in the system of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine (MOH). The main European Center, coordinating and analyzing the work of national centers, had previously been rather skeptical about the results of the work of the Ukrainian Center. After it was headed by an experienced analyst, European curators and colleagues have dramatically changed their attitude to the results of work in Ukraine and evaluate them positively.

Nevertheless acting Minister Suprun, having got acquainted with the head of the Center and having positively estimated its work, has appointed her minion Serhiy Shum acting director of this Center, absolutely unfamiliar with this problematic. When appointing Serhiy Shum, the procedures prescribed in the Ukrainian legislation were violated. So, in February 2018, when the renaming of this Center was carried out, along with a formal renaming, the Center was reorganized, which from the public health institution was turned into a specialized expert institution.

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Here we are not talking about the formal figure of speech, but about the gross changes in functions, not motivated by the law. According to the head of the registration service of the Pechersk district of Kyiv, I know that Shum has personally brought the corresponding letter to the registration service, signed by Minister Suprun. I fully admit that Serhiy Shum, who was preparing this whole operation and the document, pursuing his career and selfish goals, deliberately hid the change in the functions of the Center in the text, understanding that acting minister is incompetent in the Ukrainian record keeping and legislation, will easily sign this illegal document. So, alas, it happened.

Further illegal actions of Ministry of Health officials, initiated by Shum, continued. Despite the fact that Shum was put in office contrary to current legislation. For example, during the registration of a new edition of the Statute of the Monitoring Center, he was the head of the former Center and put the appropriate signature.

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I dare to assure you that all this fuss with re-registration and prolonged swarming around was needed by Shum for only one purpose: to introduce the topic of forensic psychiatry into the function of the center. And immediately lead it! And no one, neither the anti-corruption unit of the Ministry of Health, nor the financial department, nor the administrative and organizational units of the Ministry of Health, "noticed" a clear violation of budget legislation. The forensic psychiatric examination function was successfully carried out by the Ukrainian Research Institute of Social and Forensic Psychiatry (now secretly re-registered under a different name, without agreeing with the administration of the Institute with Shum in order to achieve the corruptive purpose), where Shum himself worked as Deputy Director until November 28, 2017. To the credit of some employees of the Ministry of Health, I want to note that they categorically refused to participate in the dirty schemes of Dr. Shum on the reorganization of the Monitoring Center and did not sign any questionable documents.

And yet, enjoying disposition of the acting minister, Shum introduced the topic of forensic psychiatry into the charter of the reorganized and headed by him Center. Manipulation was successful, and in July 2018, he, not being the director of the center (but only acting!), began the procedure for the reorganization of the "Center for Psychic Health and Monitoring of Drugs for Alcohol (MOH of Ukraine)." Yes, exactly, "psychic health" - Serhiy Shum is working purposefully and boldly. Since none of the senior comrades in the Ministry of Health does stop him.

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For this very reason, firmly convinced of his impunity, clearly and openly exceeding his authority, he signed a new edition of the statute of the Center, without coordination with the Ministry of Health, initiated corrupt reorganization, dismissed the Center's employees.

The Ministry of Health remained silent. Ignoring the open discontent of the international offices in Lisbon and Vienna, wondering why Ukraine consciously destroys its successful Monitoring Center. Indeed, Volodymyr Borysovych, we know that there are no problems with drugs and alcoholism in our country. One thing is surprising: how Mrs. Suprun, who did not know the realities of our country, could quickly learn about the absence of this terrible problem in Ukraine?

The Monitoring Center, which is so important for us, Ukrainians, and not just for Lisbon and Vienna (the relevant UN division is located in Vienna) is fading. Serhiy Shum, who has already created a "forensic" psychiatric expert vertical and with your help intends to invest huge sums in the creation of a number of special psychiatric hospitals for keeping mentally ill criminals in them, triumphs. A young doctor knows what he is doing. And he creates his future with yours and Suprun’s hands, wealthy and confident, built on a corrupt scheme, which in the old days seemed to be unrealistic.

I understand, the mates of Mrs. Suprun will tell you (if you are really interested in the situation in the Ministry of Health), that since November 2017, Shum has been a full-fledged director of the new-old Center. I dare to assure: it happened illegally, he was appointed secretly, without the announcement of the competition. As you might know (or do not know?), this is how the heads of the structural units of the Ministry of Health should be appointed since November 2017.

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I voice no requests, no demand for the restoration of lawfulness. I understand that you, like Mrs. Suprun, are not ready to restore the spirit and the letter of the law in one separate ministry. Just like in all other ministries and departments of Ukraine. The purpose of my letter is different: to warn you before I submit the relevant application to the court and start distributing the text of this letter in English translation in other, more civilized states.

You, Volodymyr Borysovych, do not need to read this text. It is too long... It is enough that one of your employees will forward it to Mrs. Suprun. And I'll get a laconic answer like: "You swallow!" You know, Volodymyr Borysovych, in my retiring camp period of life, I have met a prisoner who for years have been corresponding with the prosecutor's office, demanding to inform him where the watch seized from him during the arrest under the protocol by Stalin's people from the NKVD were. His term was considerable, 25 years, he wrote his requests without any emotions. How would he entertain himself in such a strange way, saying aloud: "Let them spend their working time on me..." When his 25-year term came to an end, Myron changed the style of the letter. For 25 years of camps and stages, he, a soldier of the UPA (Ukrainian Insurgent Army, a Ukrainian nationalist paramilitary and later partisan army that engaged in genocide and guerrilla conflicts during World War II against the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, Underground and Communist Poland, and, on some occasions, against Nazi Germany – Ed.), learned Russian language well enough, including in its local version. And he wrote his last letter to the public prosecutor, using dirty language and non-literary words. And you know, he has received an intelligible answer!

As you might see, I am not resorting to such a method to attract your attention. I know the words, I am too polite to use them.

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