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Health chief refuses to work with selected state secretary

The acting minister considers Sholoyko corrupt.

The acting minister of health Ulana Suprun disagreed with the recommendation of the Commission for Senior Civil Service Affairs to appoint deputy director for registration and pharmacy supervision in the state enterprise State Expert Center, Nataliya Sholoyko, as state secretary in the ministry.

"Our fears have justified. A state secretary has been selected for health ministry, a person who by law is vested with enormous powers," Suprun said in an address to medical community on Facebook on 7 December.

"This person will influence any personnel decisions not only in the ministry but also in all state-owned enterprises, and will be in charge of government procurements. We strongly disagree with the results of the contest and see systemic flaws in the procedure of its holding, which is imperfect and requires careful revision," Suprun went on.

She referred to the data of the monitoring mission DobroChesno that suggest that Nataliya Sholoyko cannot hold the office of state secretary in the Ministry of Health due to a conflict of interest, and her name appears in corrupt schemes.

"We cannot work in a team with people who are compromised or corrupt," Suprun wrote, and added that the government has agreed to revise the procedure of selection of state secretaries.

DobroChesno notes that the husband of Sholoyko, Oleksandr Heylomskyy, along with CEO of the company Indar, Lyubov Vyshnevska, is a co-founder of the pharmaceutical company Ridan. His father, Borys Heylomskyy, in turn, is a co-owner of the company MBB Instruments, a large pharmaceutical retailor.

MBB Instruments is known for overpriced supplies to Indar, and, according to media reports, has appeared in criminal proceedings that the SBU has opened in respect of Indar.

Previously, Suprun and Infrastructure Minister Volodymyr Omelyan have criticized the system of selection of state secretaries. Omelyan has threatened to resign if the commission appoints Andriy Halushchak to the post of state secretary of the Ministry of Infrastructure.

State secretary is a new office in Ukraine. They will appear in each ministry and, unlike ministers, will be civil servants. Their responsibilities will include the personnel management of their ministries, the development of mechanisms for the implementation of ministers' policies to ensure continuity and institutional memory.