REVENGE OR RESCUE OF REPUTATION? WHY THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF HEALTH LINCHEVSKYI LIES?
6 myths of MHC, which we disproved
On Monday, 26, February, the students from most faculties at the main medical establishment in the country – O.O. Bogomolets University could not get to classes. The collective of higher school announced the permanent action of protest because of dismissal of rector at higher school Kateryna Amosova.
The step to unprecedented scandal was KROK – the most responsible exam for medical students. It is passed in the format of compulsory testing three times: at the third course, after graduation from university and after internship. And each such testing – speaking provisionally – is the guarantee that the patient would be treated already in practice but not “killed by too much doctoring”.
However, it did not take place at O.O. Bogomolets University. Officially due to absence of agreement between Testing Center, which is the only organization, authorized to perform the licensing exams “Krok”, and medical university.
However, the real reasons should be sought deeper – with coming to Ukrainian medicine in 2016, Uliana Suprun and her “team” almost every day announced the new reforms. They promised to change everything – the status of medical establishments, conditions to pay the work of medical men, routes of patients, financing schemes.
However, we have only one result: the industry suffers from acute funding shortfall, the health care system is affected by corruption from primary link and to the highest level, and now “the reformers”, in particular Deputy Minister Oleksandr Linchevskyi, got to the main medical higher school.
The decision by management of MHC to entrust to investigate the breakdown of exam to the person, who since his appointment was in real conflict of interests with dismissed rector Amosova and openly threaten to discharge her, seems very surprising. The illegal methods and actions by Linchevskyi are confirmed even by sources at university administration.
After dismissal of Kateryna Amosova from the post of rector, the juicy scandal around O.O. Bogomolets University during the week gather space – the mass media distributed the rumors, which was really guilty in breakdown of licensing exam for dental students “Krok 1. Dentistry”. And the heads at ministry and university exchanged with mutual insults to each other. Podrobnosti.ua figured out this conflict situation and found 6 facts for frank lie in declarations by representatives of MHC.
Myth 1 from Oleksandr Linchevskyi: O.O. Bogomolets terminated the free agreement with Testing Center and transferred to the paid one in summer 2017.
Reality: Kateryna Amosova does not acknowledge her guilt that the dental students could not pass through exam. In her opinion, the dismissal from the post is the “punishment” for refusal to perform the illegal actions, which the deputy minister Linchevskyi demanded to do. The official insisted so that the university would terminate the free agreement with Testing Center, signed by previous rector and pass to payment for services to this establishment. The new agreement with Testing Center was not timely signed because Amosova cannot do it without tender, as well as transfer the money to the “structure of MHC”.
Thus, the officials caused to artificial conflict, having put the rector under conditions, when she could not perform her duties. And Linchevskyi during negotiations with Testing Center openly supported it and in presence of witnesses threatened to discharge the rector in case if the free agreement is not terminated and the paid agreement is not concluded.
Myth 2. The Testing Center that subordinates to MHC and National Medical University could conclude the agreement and perform the testing.
Reality: the University could not conclude the agreement with Testing Center as the sum of tender for services in performance of exams was UAH 1.4 millions, and, as it is known, the procurements for such sum shall be made pursuant to open tenders. NMU made it – announced the tender in ProZorro system.
Myth 3. At available only one supplier of services, National Medical University had to conclude the agreement through negotiations.
Reality: Testing Center is not a monopolist in the market. Still in November last year the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine recommended the Cabinet of Ministers to settle the procedure to perform the licensing integrated exams, having defined the paid or free character of those services, the source of origin for funds for their financing. And in case of paid character, as Linchevskyi insisted, according to the law the testing organization shall compulsorily agree the procedure for formation and the cost of services with MHC – as a relevant central authority. Simply speaking, Linchevskyi tried to conclude the illegal deal by the hands of another person, having imposed the responsibility on Amosova.
Myth 4. The appointment of Zakharash is absolutely legal.
Reality: Having dismissed Amosova from the post, on the same day MHC appointed Mykhailo Zakharash as the acting rector.
“This is the professor of university. The regulatory base allows appointing any person from professor and teaching staff in such situations. It is absolutely legal decision”, – declared then Linchevskyi.
However, the deputy minister, perhaps, forgot or consciously concealed the fact that professor Zakharash has the old conflict of interests – they prolonged the contract to the son of Zakharash, who works in the system of university, only for half year, when he hoped for much more period. And Zakharash himself during recent months wrote some complaints on Amosova. In general practice it is accepted to appoint if not pro-rector but a member in Scientific Council to the post of acting rector, and MHC consciously ignored this norm.
Myth 5. The breakdown of licensing exam is the attack to the assessment system for quality of medical education.
Reality: After scandal Linchevskyi quickly blamed Amosova in resistance to changes in educational system.
“The real reason for breakdown of exams – we see the manifestation of conflict of old educational system, which has been already for years, and the new changes in system of medical education”, – he gave the comments to journalists.
However, if to analyze all public declarations by administration of NMU, the university has never stood for liquidation of “KROK”. About necessity of its improvement – yes. About liquidation – no. Vice versa, within the competence, the university implements the new systems for assessment of quality pursuant to European and world experience. Including, it performed all recommendations by MHC. For example, the passing grade was increased up to 140, while other medical higher schools increased the passing grade only to 120.
Besides, O.O. Bogomolets University was the first one in Ukraine that implemented the voluntary OSCE – objective structured clinical exam, which is passed on phantoms. Such exam is held even not in all countries of Eastern Europe.
However, as Amosova mentioned, acting minister of health care never accepted the invitation to the higher school. Amosova in her page in Facebook mentioned: “since the very start of work of Mr. Linchevskyi at the post of deputy minister, I started writing the letters with occupational analysis of low quality in tests Krok-2 and Krok-3, as well as organization of those exams in general, providing with concrete proposals and suggesting the participation of university in its improvement to approach to American standards. Instead, the speakers from MHC in public space intentionally and cynically became spreading the fake: “Amosova is trying to cancel the progressive “Krok”, thus NMU “wants to trade with diplomas”.
Myth 6. The right of signature was kept.
MHC with its decision deprived the administration of NMU of the right of signature that could cause to non-payment of students’ stipendium and salary to employees. Obviously that MHC by such way tried to create the additional pressure on medical university and to exacerbate the situation much more. However, the issue about accrual of stipends and salaries were operatively settled thanks to electronic signature by one of pro-rectors that was by chance left to be unblocked at State Treasury Service.
Interesting moment – having deprived Amosova of right of signature, MHC preserved this right for dismissed director of Testing Center Iryna Bulakh, and already today, on the 6th of March it restored her at work.
This list may go into infinity…
Obviously, Mr. Linchevskyi skillfully juggles with previously prepared PR slogans. However, having analyzed his public speeches, we have never found any references to the norms of law. It seems that “young reformers” continue to be governed by political expediency. And the medical reform is still being implemented and even only a lazy person has no questions to it. However, the officers of MHC, in particular, Linchevskyi consciously avoid from answers to this topic.