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Victory of digitalization over bureaucracy: electronic sick leave launched in Ukraine

10 June 2021

Sick leave is one of the most popular services in Ukraine. Every year, 5.5 million Ukrainians receive them, and more than UAH 18 billion are paid on disability certificates.

Some of them were issued to people who were actually healthy. But now it will change: this week the Ministry of Digital Development, together with the Ministry of Health, the National Health Service of Ukraine, the Ministry of Social Policy, the Pension Fund of Ukraine and the Social Insurance Fund of Ukraine launched electronic sick leave.

“The launch of electronic sick leave is an important step for the introduction of a paperless regime in the medical and social spheres. This is a service that will make life easier for patients, doctors, and employers. Due to e-sick leave it will be possible to eliminate corruption abuses in this area and save money for the state”, said Mykhailo Fedorov.

The process of obtaining sick leave for Ukrainians has become much easier. The patient comes to the doctor for examination. The doctor creates an electronic medical report on temporary disability in the Register and certifies it with a qualified electronic signature. You will receive a message about this from E-health. From there, in a few seconds, the sick leave is included in the Register of the pension fund. There, an electronic disability certificate is generated — this is exactly the document for which you are reported payments. You will also receive a message about this on your phone, from the PFU.

“The introduced changes will start working gradually. This requires time, training, and clarification for healthcare professionals and anyone involved in the process. But I want to assure you that we, for our part, are ready to support and explain further if necessary. After all, we are moving towards making the process of obtaining sick leave as convenient and transparent as possible”, Viktor Liashko said.

It is important that the pension fund will receive only the information that is necessary for reporting payments: the reason for disability, the period of sick leave, and the doctor who issued it. Neither the PFU nor the employer will know the diagnosis. Each document can be checked by a special number on the pension fund's website.

“e-sick leave is a new progressive case for Ukraine, which, due to our joint efforts, has started today. The introduction of e-sick leave will allow the employer and the Fund to see from the first day that the insured person is ill and in which hospital or which family doctor has formed a medical report on the illness of this person. As a result, we have got a system that will allow us to effectively apply risk-based approaches to checking disability certificates and making insurance payments, which will simplify the procedure”, said First Deputy Minister of social policy Yevhen Kotyk.

From June to August, Ukraine will have a transitional model for the introduction of e-sick leave - medical institutions will gradually switch to the formation of electronic medical reports on temporary disability. From September 1 of this year, all medical institutions must create them in electronic form.