Healthcare Reform in the Ukraine and Investment Opportunities for the Private Sector | article of Viktoriya Podvorchanska, Roman Stepanenko, Kateryna Oliynyk and Lisa Mueller, BRIC Wall
Since the time of the Soviet Union (USSR) and pursuant to Ukraine’s Constitution, medical care in Ukrainian public hospitals (most hospitals are public hospitals) is supposed to be “free of charge” for all citizens. However, unlike the USSR, Ukraine is simply unable to sufficiently finance the extremely high costs associated with providing such free healthcare as well as maintain the outdated infrastructure of a number of public healthcare facilities. As a result, many patients in the Ukraine must pay for their healthcare, although these payments are often made “unofficially” (e.g., directly to doctors). Given this tension, as well as other weaknesses of Ukrainian healthcare system, many have called for its reform.
Starting September 2017, the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement (the “Agreement”) entered into force. According to the Agreement, Ukraine, among other things, has taken certain obligations for IP, though it was not clear whether they should apply with an immediate effect or after conflicting Ukrainian laws are changed. Recently, the Patent office finally explained that the Agreement will be applied in full and prevail over the national legislation, including the most relevant changes as follows.