Konstiantyn Talalaiev: The Ministry of Health Has Deprived the University of the Opportunity to Move Forward for a While

On December 10, 2018, ONMedU appeared in the center of attention of Odessa and central media companies again. And as usual, each edition has its own view on these events. And what is the reality? The newspaper “His Majesty the Patient” has decided to speak to the vice-rector for scientific and pedagogical work Konstiantyn Oleksandrovych Talalaiev about it.


Konstiantyn Oleksandrovych, some media companies, referring to the statement of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine (hereinafter – the MOH), claim that on December 10, at about 8 am, unknown persons took over the building of the university by force. Is it true?

It is an absolutely false statement. There was no takeover. It was just that, on December 10, the court judgement was finally executed, even two of them – the one of Primorsky Court and the one of Suvorovsky (there are the dates of the trials and judgements numbers) – as to the illegal heads of the university Konstiantyn Aimedov and Vladlena Dubinina illegally appointed by the Ministry of Health of Ukraine. Everything was done within the law. The state executives removed the seals, unlocked the door of the rector’s office and gave the a.i. rector Yurii Vitaliiovych Sukhin, who had been elected by the academic council, an opportunity to start work.

Unfortunately, the MOH has mislead the media. By the way, the MOH tried to challenge the election of Yurii Sukhin as the a.i. rector of the university through the Ministry of Justice, but the Ministry of Justice refused, the order No. 4555/7, dated December 12.

It is generally strange – in the summer when really unknown young guys were breaking down the door of the rector’s office, so that the illegally appointed by the MOH a.i. rector could freely take the rector’s seat, the ministry did not talk about raidering. And that was a real taking by force! And it was when the employees were not allowed to come into the building. Also Aimedov, and then Dubinina were definitely guarded not by police officers.


– You say that the Ministry of Health illegally appointed Aymedov as the a.i. rector in July, and isn’t ONMedU under the authority of the relevant ministry?

It is, but according to the current legislation, the Ministry of Health is not the owner of Odessa Medical University, but only a governing body with powers limited by the Law “On Higher Education” (Article). Legally the ministry has no authority to interfere and appoint or change the rector of any educational institution. The Rector is chosen exclusively by the staff. Therefore, the District Administrative Court of Kyiv adopted a decision on August 29: to cancel the appointment of Aimedov as the a.i. rector, and reminded the Ministry of Health that the ministry has no authority to appoint a rector or an a.i. rector. Unfortunately, the head of the ministry, namely Uliana Suprun, refused to comply with the court’s decision. And this is a direct violation of law.

However, this, in my opinion, is not the first violation of the Ukrainian legislation. It all began with the illegal dismissal of the rector of ONMedU Valerii Zaporozhan on July 17, 2018. I am convinced that the court, which is going to take place in the near future, will recognize the illegality of this dismissal.


– Valerii Zaporozhan has not been reinstated yet, but he is taking an active part in the life of the university?

And it’s not strange! Even in August, despite the absurd situation at the university, the staff unanimously elected Valerii Mykolaiovych the head of the Academic Council. By the way, on the same day, Yurii Sukhin was elected the head of the university at the meeting.


– Illegally appointed a.i. rectors Aymedov and Dubinina “ran” the university for five months, and the university worked as always. Perhaps they were not so bad leaders?

Unfortunately, during this time, not talking about those who were fired and who quitted, all repair works were stopped. Okay, the walls are not painted, but what if roofs are leaking, and what if it is also in the operating room? Municipal payments have been stopped. The admission campaign was wrecked. We have got fewer foreign students than usual – and this is the main income of the University! After all, we do not just have to keep the buildings of the educational buildings and clinics in order, but also try to provide them with modern equipment. Unfortunately, cooperation agreements were frozen – it is also one of the sources that provides, for example, the Department of Ophthalmology, with an operating microscope Haag-Streit Hi-R NEO 900 to conduct microsurgical operations of any level of complexity, and at the same time record it and broadcast on the local network and also work in a video conferencing mode. And this is a priceless experience for ophthalmologists-beginners. And this is just one example! Our clinics have a lot of unique technologies, sometimes we are the only owners of some devices in Ukraine. Aimedov, Dubinina and Suprun have deprived us of the opportunity to move forward for a while. But these dead months are over – we are working further!