Appeal Court legitimized FAS decision and determination on St Petersburg Government
It is a judicial precedent aimed not only at protecting competition but also the rights of individuals to select health care providers rendering, in their opinion, the best medical care
On 6 April 2017, the 9th Arbitration Appeal Court dismissed the claim of St Petersburg Government to reverse the judgment of Moscow Arbitration Court1 that confirmed legitimacy and reasonableness of FAS decision and injunction.
In June 2016 FAS Commission established omissions of St Petersburg Government, that failed to provide conditions for non-discriminatory allocation of high-technology medical aid across St Petersburg health care providers under the frame of mandatory medical insurance (MMI), which ultimately restricted competition. To eliminate violations of the antimonopoly law, FAS issued a mandatory injunction to St Petersburg Government.
St Petersburg Government filed a lawsuit challenging the decision and injunction; however, the Court of First Instance supported the position of the antimonopoly body.
The 9th Arbitration Appeal Court did not find any grounds to invalidate the judgment of the Court of First Instance and agreed with the arguments put forward by the Federal Antimonopoly Service.
Court also legitimized the FAS injunction issued to St Petersburg Commission on developing the regional MMI programme.
The Court ruling and, subsequently, FAS decision and injunction came into effect on 11 April 20172. In case of failure to execute the lawful injunction within the statutory period3 St Petersburg Government and St Petersburg Commission on developing the regional MMI porgramme will be held administratively liable.
“The ruling of the Appeal Court is very important and makes a precedent since the system of allocating medical aid in many subjects of the Russian Federation remains closed and non-transparent, and frequently hampers medical care for the population when a particular provider lacks certain volumes of aid. Therefore the ruling is designed to not only protect competition but also facilitate protection of the rights of the citizens of the Russian Federation who wish to have an opportunity to select providers that render, in their opinion, the best medical aid. In view of the rulings on the Chelyabinsk region4 and St Petersburg, judicial practice is established, which will enable high quality protection of the rights of citizens and providers across the entire Russia”, emphasized Head of FAS Department for Control over Social Sphere and Trade, Timophey Nizhegorodtev.
1 Judgment of Moscow Arbitration Courton No.А40-171233/2016 case.
2 Under Part 2 Article 52 of the Federal Law “On Protection of Competition”, when Arbitration Court accepts a lawsuit for hearing, execution of an injunction issued by the antimonopoly body is suspended until the ruling of Arbitration Court comes into force.
3 Nos. 18/43703/16 and 18/43702/16 FAS injunctions of 24.06.2016 must be executed within 30 working days.
4 Findings of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation on No.А76-7175/2015 case.