IFES and the Ministry of Healthcare to Cooperate on Preventing Abuse of State Resources in the Healthcare Sector
On February 22, 2019, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) and the Ministry of Healthcare of Ukraine signed a memorandum of understanding and cooperation to prevent illegal campaigning and abuse of state resources in the healthcare sector during the 2019 presidential election.
“Patience’s health and the fulfillment of professional duties are those aspects that people who work in healthcare facilities should focus on. Any attempts to abuse the administrative resource is illegal and immoral. Together with IFES Ukraine, we will hold an information campaign to prevent violations of the rights of doctors and patients”, wrote Ulana Suprun, the Acting Minister of Healthcare of Ukraine.
The signing of the Memorandum lays a foundation for the implementation of an information campaign “Illegal Campaigning: identify and prevent”. The campaign is aimed to raise awareness about abuse of state resources before and during election periods, prevent the use of healthcare facilities and workers for electoral purposes and protect citizens’ right for receiving high-quality healthcare services. The information campaign will also help the Ministry identify facilities where pre-election campaigning is taking place and encourage reporting of such illegal campaigning.
Outreach materials on how to prevent illegal campaigning will be shared among healthcare workers ahead of the March 2019 presidential election. To ensure the visibility of cases of illegal campaigning, doctors and patients will be encouraged to disseminate the information on abuse of state resources on social media under the hashtag “#IllegalCampaigning”. In addition, public discussions on protecting healthcare institutions from undue political influence will be organized at the regional level.
The Ministry of Healthcare will carry out the information campaign simultaneously with the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine with whom IFES signed a similar memorandum on securing political neutrality of education institutions during election periods. Information campaigns on preventing abuse of state resources both in healthcare institutions and in educational establishments will be scaled up ahead of the 2019 parliamentary elections in October, taking into account the lessons learned from the 2019 presidential campaign.