According to Art. 10, On the Legal Status of Foreigners and Stateless Persons, of the Law of Ukraine, foreigners, stateless individuals who permanently reside in Ukraine, and people who have applied for a refugee status, as well as those who have obtained a refugee status in Ukraine, are eligible to use medical service ON EQUAL BASIS with Ukrainian citizens. All other foreigners may receive medical care only if they pay for it (by virtue of agreements with medical insurance or for a fee paid directly to medical institutions).
According to the Lissabon Declaration of World Medical Association on the Rights of the Patient and Declaration on the Promotion of Patients’ Rights, all patients in Ukraine (including foreigners staying in Ukraine legally) have the following rights in the course of a medical treatment:
- right to respect of his or her person as a human being;
- right to self-determination;
- right to physical and mental integrity and to the security of his or her person;
- right to freedom of choice;
- right to information;
- right to informed consent;
- right of obtaining a second opinion on any stage of treatment;
- right to confidentiality and privacy;
- right to medical care of good quality;
- right to health education;
- right to religious assistance.
Medical treatment must always take into account the patient’s best interest and the treatment must comply with universally recognized medical principles and standards.
Memo for patients on assertion of the right to medical care provided by the Law of Ukraine, «Fundamental Principles of Legislation of Ukraine On Health Care»
Doctor in charge may be selected by a patient’s direct choice or be appointed by the director of health care institution or of its department (Article 34).
Patients have the right to ask for a replacement of a doctor (Article 34).
Every patient has the right to freely choose a doctor (Article 38).
Every patient has the right to receive services corresponding to his/her health status of any state medical prevention and treatment facility by choice, unless this establishment cannot ensure respective treatment.
Doctors have the right to refuse to provide a medical service to a patient if this patient does not stand to the requirements or rules of internal regulations of a health care establishment unless a threat to life of a diseased or to public health. A doctor has no responsibility for patient’s health in case of rejection of medical requirements or violation of medical disposal by patient.
The doctor must comprehensibly explain to the patient the state of his/her health, aim of required investigations and medical measures, prognosis of possible course of disease, including risk to his/her life and health. (Article 39)
The patient has the right to familiarize him/herself with the medical history and other documents, which could be used for future treatments. In specific cases, when full information can do harm to the patient’s health, the doctor can restrict the information that the patient can receive. In this case the doctor informs family members or legal representative of the patient. Doctors act in the same manner if a patient is unconscious. (Article 39). Every patient has the right to receive available information about the state of his/her health in a comprehensible form, including information on results of examination, fact of disease, the diagnosis and the prognosis, methods of treatment, risks related to him/her, possible forms of medical intervention, the consequences and the results of a given treatment.
Medical workers and other persons, who in connection with performance of their professional or official duties got to know about disease, medical investigation, examination and the results, private and family side of life of a citizen do not have the right to disclose this information, unless otherwise provided in legislation (Article 40).
Using the data of medical secret for training, scientific research, including in case of its publication in professional literature, anonymity of the patient must be ensured. (Article 40). Patients have the right of preservation of secrecy of their health. This means that doctors must keep in secret the diagnosis and even a fact of seeking medical help. Practically this information is quite accessible. Patients have the right to tell doctors not to disclose information about their disease to anyone, including close relatives. Moreover, patients may give authorization for any person to receive information about the state of their health.
During the period of a disease, with temporary loss of labour capacity, citizens are released from work saving payment of social insurance benefit, according to the order provided by the legislation of Ukraine (Article 41).
Informed consent of a patient, who is of a sound mind, is necessary for application of methods of diagnosis, prevention and treatment. In emergency situations, when the threat to the patient’s life is real, consent of the patient or his/her legal representatives for medical intervention is not necessary (Article 43).
Duties of the patient:
- to care about one’s health and health of children; not to interfere with the health of other citizens;
- stand preventive medical inspection and vaccinations as provided by applicable law;
- administer first aid to other citizens, whose life and health have been threatened;
- fulfil other obligations provided by the legislation on health care. (Article10).
Patients have the right to call a priest at the hospital, as long as this does not violate internal regulations. The Law of Ukraine provides no clear interpretation of this right but in a general sense it is sustained by the Constitution of Ukraine. Also patients have the right to demand admission of an attorney or other legal representative for protection of his/her rights. This right is provided by the Constitution of Ukraine too.
Patients also have the right to refuse medical intervention. Although, there is no direct indication in the law of Ukraine, this right is enforced in correspondence to the right of informed consent (and non-consent, accordingly) for application of the methods of diagnosis, prevention and treatment.
Be more active during medical appointments. Make it imperative that you treat your diagnosis. Preserve all medical documents, referrals, checks for medicines. In case of being harmed, you can refer to these documents, and thus, be able to request refund for all the costs you have incurred, e.g. costs in relation to hiring an attorney or a public organization.
If you prefer to receive service from a private clinic, then before signing an agreement NECESSARILY ascertain all its paragraphs, especially:
— subject of an agreement;
— rights and liabilities of the parties;
— possibility of termination of agreement on your own initiative, on initiative of a clinic;
— valid reasons of termination of agreement on your own initiative.
When you are dissatisfied of the quality of medical help:
You should act in the following order:
1. Tell in polite form your claims to the chief of the department.
Having not solved your problems in conversation pass on to the following.
2. Composition of written application addressed to the director of medical establishment.
The letter is prepared, following a general rule, in 2 copies: one copy is handed over to the secretary of chief physician; the second copy (remaining with you) a secretary indicates information on admission of this application (date, signature). By general rule, reply to your application must be sent out during the first month.
In your application you should deliver briefly the essence of the things you were not OK with and also your suggestion(s) for resolution of the conflict. Before writing such a complaint, try to find answers for yourself to the following questions:
— was there any violation by the medical establishment;
— if any damage was caused how much could it approximately «cost», etc.
If you are dissatisfied with the reply, then you may appeal to higher authority and/or to the court. In practice the second remedy is more effective.
3. Composition of a court claim.
Claims of this nature are free of charge. To compose a claim it is better to turn to a lawyer.
Who is the most appropriate to approach with such questions?
If you have questions regarding the relationship between a patient and the medical personnel, you should address them to:
- doctor in charge
- chief medical officer
- the Department of Health Care in your city
- justice agencies
- human rights organization.
Insurance procedure for foreigners, entering the territory of Ukraine
Pursuant to the laws of Ukraine, citizens of Ukraine and foreign citizens (nationals of other states and stateless persons), who reside permanently in the territory of Ukraine, enjoy the right to a free-of-charge medical assistance. For all other foreigners the procedure for rendering medical assistance shall be established by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.
On 17 September, 1997 the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine passed Resolution N1021 (with amendments introduced pursuant to the consecutive resolutions of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine N1926 dated 4 December, 1998, N35 dated 13 January, 1999, N555 dated 23 May, 2001 and N673 dated 26 June, 2001), which approved the Procedure for rendering emergency medical aid to the foreigners, who reside temporarily in the territory of Ukraine.
Pursuant to the Procedure for rendering emergency medical aid to foreigners, who reside temporarily in the territory of Ukraine, the obligatory availability of an insurance policy (certificate), that guarantees payment of an emergency medical aid cost, was established for foreigners and stateless persons, who reside temporarily in the territory of Ukraine. The said policy (certificate) should be purchased from the insurance company that shall guarantee the payment of cost of rendering of an emergency medical aid to a foreigner or a stateless person, residing temporarily in the territory of Ukraine, provided the said person is a holder of the foreign insurance company’s insurance policy (certificate).
The said Regulation shall cover no employees of diplomatic missions and consular offices of foreign states and members of their families in Ukraine, members of official delegations, arriving at the invitation of the President of Ukraine, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, the members of warship and auxiliary warship crews, the persons, who, in accordance with established procedure, have received a refugee status in Ukraine, and persons, who have applied for refugee status in Ukraine.
Should the effective international treaties of Ukraine establish other rules, the provisions contained in the international treaties of Ukraine shall apply.
The nationals of the Republic of Armenia, Republic of Azerbaijan, Republic of Belarus, Republic of Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Georgia, the Great Britain, Hungary, Republic of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Republic of Moldova, Mongolia, Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and of the Republic of Uzbekistan, international treaties of Ukraine with which envisage free-of-charge rendering of emergency medical aid, may have no insurance policy (certificate) as aforesaid.
No insurance policy (certificate) as aforesaid is required for the experts in the field of public health services of the People’s Republic of China, students, post-graduate students, persons sent for scientific specialization from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Poland, organized tourist groups from Romania.