The Kyiv district court that decided last week to temporarily remove Ulana Suprun as acting health minister ruled on February 14 to overturn its decision and reinstate her.
The US born Suprun has been championing reforms to the sector, as bne IntelliNews detailed in an exclusive interview “Gloves off for Ukraine’s health minister as long-awaited reforms begin.”
Suprun has been actively closing down corrupt scams, which brought her into conflict with the establishment. Following objections from Rada deputies, a court ruled she was ineligible to serve as minister due to her dual US, Ukrainian citizenship.
The court decision provoked a backlash by Ukraine’s international friends who heavily criticised the decision to suspend one of the few high officials left in the establishment that are actively fighting corruption.
The judge said his reversal was based on a February 13 order by the cabinet of ministers, the pravda.com.ua news site reported. “This order is a consolidated decision by the government that allows for unblocking the most critical issues of the ministry’s work,” the text of the order said. “This exceptional step by the cabinet of ministers is a response to the work of the health ministry being blocked by the ruling of the Kyiv district administrative court.”
The cabinet’s order enables Suprun to approve further distributions of vaccines and medicine, dispatching 44 Ukrainians for treatment abroad, continuing the process of building a central children’s hospital in Kyiv, buying medical equipment, and other decisions that need immediate approval, pravda.com.ua reported, citing the health ministry. The necessary documents will be signed in the nearest future.
“Suprun was able to return to her post because of the support of the cabinet, which itself admitted that it took an unusual step in order to allow for important work to be completed. It’s also unusual for a court to reverse its own ruling so quickly. So we expect Suprun will be the target of more attempts to remove her. Suprun and her policies will also remain a central political issue through the October parliamentary elections, with pro-Western parties defending her,” Zenon Zawada of Concorde Capital said in a note.