How to hire a foreign doctor in Ukraine during the war?

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Martial law has opened the door to foreign medicine. Correctly formalized activities of a foreign doctor will not only allow for the evolution of the range of medical services and the development of the institution’s medical care, but will also significantly expand medical services and increase the competitiveness of the institution.

The employment of a physician in a private medical business follows the same procedure, which does not depend on the type of the health care facility. But employing a foreign doctor is different from employing a Ukrainian citizen. Recall that a foreigner is a person who is a citizen of another state and is not a citizen of Ukraine.

We have summarized the requirements for employment of foreign doctors, but we emphasize that a separate legal analysis of the specific situation of the employment of a foreign doctor is necessary for more concrete actions of the employer and foreign doctor.

Also, the employment of a foreign physician requires adjustments to the institution’s consumer rights and changes to:

  • the internal documentation of the institution;
  • the procedure for the provision of medical services and care;
  • the information policy of the institution.

Today, Ukrainian clinics are receiving requests for possible employment of foreign doctors willing to help the country in a difficult time - we will tell you how to do it correctly.

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Foreign Physician Vacancy: How to make a position vacant

In order to optimize material and time resources, we recommend taking care of the vacancy before employing a foreign doctor. A foreign doctor is employed with the permission of the State Employment Service, which limits the duration of the employment relationship and requires a separate fee for the permit.

A vacant position is a position that is not occupied by another employee at the time of employment. This means that the position must be vacant at the time of employment, or if such a position does not exist, the employer must create such a position.

The foreign doctor must meet the educational and staffing requirements approved by the Ministry of Health of Ukraine and the internal documentation of the health care facility, including job description and functional responsibilities corresponding to the vacant position.

Recall that the number of medical positions, including physician positions, is determined by the head of the medical institution and the individual entrepreneur on their own, depending on the declared specialties and volume, standards for the provision of medical care at the appropriate level.

To create a new position, the private sector predetermines the need for the employer to perform the following legal actions:

  • Amendments to the staffing table – when the institution has a license for the corresponding specialty for the foreign physician’s specialty;
  • Expansion of the list of licensed specialties and changes in the staffing table – when the institution does not have a license for the medical specialty corresponding to the foreign physician’s position.

While making changes to the staffing table is an internal documentation of the health care facility that does not require external approval, the expansion of the list of licensed specialties requires notification to the licensing authority, i.e. the Ministry of Health of Ukraine.

In practice, the correct fulfillment of licensing regulations requires another notification to the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, namely about the employment of a new employee – a foreign doctor. Such notification shall be made within 1 month after employment.

Please note that during martial law, notifications of changes to the data indicated in the license documents can be submitted immediately, or within 1 calendar month after the end of the war. In each individual case we recommend the most convenient option, based on the Client’s situation.

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Work permit for a foreign doctor and how to obtain it

The permit must be obtained from the State Employment Service. Issuance of the permit to the employer is subject to the payment of wages in the amount of not less than ten minimum wages. Recall that from January 1, 2022 - the minimum wage is UAH 6,500, from October 1, 2022 is UAH 6,700.

More generally, in order to obtain the permit for a medical business planning to employ a foreign doctor, the following package of documents must be collected:

  • An application for permission to use foreigners’ labor;
  • A copy of foreign doctor’s passport. Such copy shall be submitted together with a translation into Ukrainian, certified in the prescribed manner;
  • Photo of a foreign doctor (3.5 x 4.5 cm);
  • Draft employment contract (agreement). The draft is submitted as a copy certified by the employer, i.e. it shall specify “according to the original”, the date of certification, signature, initials and surname of the employer.

The application for the permit must include:

  • the vacant position of the physician;
  • the foreign physician’s status (foreign employee; seconded employee; intra-corporate assignee; foreign highly compensated professional or other).

Please note that the above list is not exhaustive and depends on the status of the foreign doctor. For example, if a foreign doctor is a graduate of a higher education institution that is included in the top 100 in the world rankings (ARWU, Times Higher Education World University Rankings, QS (Quacquarelli Symonds Ltd) World University Rankings), this will affect his/her chances of obtaining the Permit.

The State Employment Service reviews the submitted package of documents within seven days and makes a decision to issue or refuse to issue the permit. The State Employment Service sends its decision to the employer.

After receiving the decision to issue a permit, the employer must pay for the permit within 10 business days. The fee for the permit depends on the duration of the permit and in 2022 is as follows:

  • If the permit is valid for up to 6 months – the fee is UAH 4,962.
  • If the permit is valid for 6 months to 1 year – the fee is UAH 9,924.
  • If the permit is valid for 1 to 3 years – the fee is UAH 14, 886.

We will help you determine the amount to be paid, along with the details of the payment to the SES when you are granted the permit.

Please note! In the medical field, the following foreign doctors may employed without the permit:

  • those permanently residing in Ukraine on legal grounds;
  • with refugee status obtained under the legislation of Ukraine;
  • those who have received a permit to immigrate to Ukraine;
  • those who require complementary protection in Ukraine;
  • those who have been granted temporary protection in Ukraine.

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Labor relations and peculiarities of the employment agreement (contract) with a foreign doctor

Creating an employment relationship with a foreign doctor is a trivial practice. Special attention should be paid only to the employment agreement (contract).

The form and content of the employment agreement must correspond to the certified copy of the draft agreement submitted to the State Employment Service.

In addition, the existence of an employment agreement is a must, regardless of the type of medical business that employs the foreign doctor (legal entity or individual entrepreneur).

The agreement must be understandable for the foreign doctor (i.e. if your employee does not know the written Ukrainian language – we recommend concluding a bilingual agreement).

Please note that the employment relationship with a foreign doctor has a certain period of time, i.e. it must be provided not only in the employment contract, but also in the application for employment and in the order of hiring.

The employment of a foreign physician requires the introduction of specifics in the procedure for providing medical services.

Reporting features about the employment of a foreign doctor

Legislation requires two types of notification: on the conclusion of the employment relationship and on its termination, as follows:

  • On the conclusion of the employment relationship, the foreign doctor submits an application for a temporary residence permit, adds a health insurance policy and submits a work permit, employment agreement or contract (if the permit is not required).
  • On the conclusion of the employment relationship – the employer submits a notification to the Tax Service.
  • On termination of the employment relationship – the employer notifies the State Migration Service and the State Employment Service.

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Requirements for a foreign doctor in Ukraine

The main requirement for a foreign doctor is to fully meet the educational and personnel requirements approved by the Ministry of Health of Ukraine and the internal documents of the health care facility, including job and functional responsibilities corresponding to the vacant position.

Before hiring a foreign physician, he/she must learn the requirements of the future position:

  • Qualification requirements;
  • The employee’s task;
  • The rights and responsibilities of the employee;
  • Relationship with the administration of the institution;
  • Liaison with other employees and structural subdivisions of the institution;
  • The procedure of providing medical assistance;
  • The procedure for the provision of medical facility services;
  • Observance by the employee of labor protection, fire safety, electrical safety, work with pressure receptacles safety rules, etc.

The qualification requirements include:

  • Educational requirements for a foreign physician;
  • Requirements for educational documents confirming the education and specialization of the physician;
  • Requirements for length of service, length of medical practice.

Please note! The obligation to undergo nostrification (recognition of foreign education documents in Ukraine) is not a prerequisite for employment of a foreign doctor, because a foreign doctor could receive medical education and undergo proper specialization in Ukraine.

If a doctor was educated in another country – nostrification is required. Please click here for more detailed information. That is why we again emphasize that each case of foreign doctor employment is special.

Our specialists will:

  • Help to prepare documents of the health  care facility and foreign doctor for proper registration of labor relations;
  • Obtain a work permit for a foreign doctor in Ukraine;
  • Assist in nostrification of educational documents of the doctor in Ukraine, if required;
  • Assist with employment of such doctor officially;
  • Assist in making changes to the medical license and filing a notification to the Ministry of Health.

Do you need any assistance? Do not hesitate to contact us! We will find a solution to your particular problem and will take care of all the practical parts of solving the legal problem.

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More on getting a Work Permit in Ukraine here.

Publication date: 10/06/2022

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