Medical Uber: is it possible to organize something similar in Ukraine?

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Delivery services and other similar services that allow people to receive various goods or services without leaving home are becoming more and more popular. This also involved a medical field, but startups in this field face much more complex regulations and restrictions than the general consumer sector.

In this publication, we will elaborate on a practical case of our company, where our lawyers advised a group of private investors on the launch of a project of the “Uber Health” type. The essence of the startup was to connect nursing staff to an electronic system where patients could find a nearby nurse and order the services.

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Personal data and medical privacy

The first thing our Clients encountered was the protection of patients’ rights, namely their personal data, health information and medical privacy. However, even the very fact of seeking medical care is classified as secret information, and its disclosure, in some cases, can lead to criminal liability. Consequently, when developing the scheme of medical business, first of all you should take care of protection of personal data of potential Clients.

That is why our lawyers advised the Client on a number of the following issues:

  • Information with limited access;
  • Liability for disclosure of secrecy and distribution of liability between management, ordinary staff and contractors;
  • Development of employment agreements, agreements with contractors and non- disclosure agreements or individual non-disclosure provisions, job descriptions and provisions on commercial and other types of secrets.

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Is it possible to license such activities and what restrictions may arise?

While medical privacy and personal data issues could be resolved to a large extent through the proper construction of contractual work and informed consent, licensing has administrative nature and does not provide many options for derogation from the letter of the law.

The work of nurses related to injection and other procedures is considered medical treatment, and therefore can only be allowed after obtaining a Medical License. At the same time, the obligatory requirements for obtaining the license are as follows:

  • Registration of a company (sole proprietorship, LLC, etc.);
  • Availability of a doctor’s office, or offices with the necessary equipment.

These two points were at odds with the Client’s business model because:

  • The system should provide for easy connection based on a regular medical certificate, and without a sole proprietorship registration;
  • Health professionals should certainly have no premises, as all services are to be provided at the patient’s home or other location.

Our lawyers offered the Client several options, including:

  • To set up a company that would not only act as a hub for patient care, but also as a medical facility that would admit nurses.

This option did not meet the Client’s needs, because it would make him a representative of medical services, and therefore he would be responsible for potential risks. In addition, the employment and dismissal of employees would make the procedure much more complicated.

  • To connect the existing health care facilities with medical personnel, including public utilities, to the system. At the time of the consultation, they were massively transformed into communal non-commercial enterprises as part of the healthcare financing reform, which allowed making money from various types of medical services.

Against the background of regulatory restrictions, availability of services in public utilities and their wide network, the Client liked the second option and started a dialogue with the pilot institutions.

This request was unique in nature, which is always interesting as it gives us an opportunity to demonstrate our legal knowledge and skills and help us create something fundamentally new. We are always happy with the challenges.

If you have any idea or scheme of business of medical or any other nature, and you want to be sure of the legality and success of its implementation, don’t hesitate to contact us. We will find the best solution for you.

Publication date: 02/06/2020

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