Public Consultation on draft Concept for Licensing of Healthcare Professionals in Ukraine
The Ministry of Health of Ukraine invites the public to provide feedback on the draft Concept for Licensing of Healthcare Professionals in Ukraine (available in Ukrainian). This concept provides for the introduction of a completely new licensing system in Ukraine. By 2024, all Ukrainian doctors should acquire an appropriate level of knowledge and professional skills to obtain a license and integrate into the international medical community.
Today, Ukraine has a national healthcare professional certification (attestation) system. Certificates are issued based on one’s years of experience, rather than on professionalism and the quality of work. The state has a monopoly on training services.
Moreover, there is no effective mechanism regulating personal responsibility and accountability of healthcare professionals for the quality of their work and medical services rendered to patients.
WHAT DIFFERENCES IS LICENSING OF HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS EXPECTED TO MAKE
The First Changes at the Stage of Admission to a Medical School
Both tuition-free and contract students now have to get a minimum total score of 150 points for each compulsory subject to be admitted to a medical university. The strongest performers will be offered the opportunity to study tuition free in medical schools of their choice.
New Knowledge Assessment System
Students who were admitted to the Master's program in 2016, after passing all required exams, will obtain professional licenses after the third or sixth year of study, internship or residency. Those entering the profession must meet all predetermined qualifications that prove their knowledge.
New System of Continuing Education and Professional Development
Mandatory pre-certification courses have been canceled. Healthcare professionals now have the right to choose the courses and programs of continuing medical education they want to enroll. The scoring system has improved as well – points will be accredited for both formal education and self-education / non-formal education.
The old system will remain in effect until 2020.
The Ukrainian government has already approved the relevant Resolution and the Ministry of Health of Ukraine is currently proceeding on the drafting of legislation and regulations.
Obtaining a Professional License
After physicians are licensed, they must renew their license every three years to continue their active status. During this license renewal process, physicians must demonstrate that they have maintained acceptable standards of ethics and medical practice and have not engaged in improper conduct.
In the case of negligence or material misconduct of a doctor, the license may be suspended or revoked.
The Licensing Board will be composed of 30 selected doctors, foreign experts may be engaged as well. Through licensing, special state board will ensure that all practicing physicians have appropriate education and training, and that they abide by recognized standards of professional conduct while serving their patients.
Gradual Transition to a New Licensing System
Practicing doctors should prepare for a 5-year transition period that will last from 2020 to 2024. Each physician must pass the qualifying exam to obtain a license. The examination process should start in 2020, and it is expected that all doctors will get licenses by 2024.
In addition, professional medical licenses issued in the EU, the US, Israel, Canada and Japan are recognized in Ukraine.
By introducing the new system of medical licensing, we acknowledge that professionalism, appropriate knowledge and experience are the main components of the healthcare professional’s work.
Professional licensing should transform collective irresponsibility into physician’s personal accountability for clinical decision-making and quality of care. Therefore, the employment guarantees of the healthcare professionals will be rooted in professional and ethical responsibility and the public accountability of the doctor.