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A new concept for the formation of a network of rehabilitation centers is being implemented in Ukraine

19 July 2023

Minister of Health Viktor Liashko presented a plan for the further development of the rehabilitation system to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

The relevant concept is an integral part of the preparation of the Doctrine of Ukraine on Post-War Transformation, which was initiated by the President. Its implementation by the Ministry of Health has already begun.

“The President of Ukraine, presenting the guidelines of the Ukrainian Doctrine, emphasized that we are faced with the task of creating the strongest rehabilitation industry in Europe. Back in 2020, a new law was adopted, which can be considered a kind of foundation for the development of high-quality evidence-based rehabilitation care. Our team has a clear vision for the development of the rehabilitation system. It is outlined in the plan presented here. Much has already been done, but there is still much work to be done. We have now completed the formation of a capable network of medical facilities. Cluster hospitals with full-fledged rehabilitation departments have been appointed throughout Ukraine. Thus, together with specialized rehabilitation facilities, we will be able to cover the existing need for rehabilitation care with an even distribution across the country. After completing the infrastructure stage, we will focus on proper staffing and quality of rehabilitation care,” Viktor Liashko noted.

The plan envisages that each cluster and supercluster hospital will have its own inpatient rehabilitation department. The infrastructure for effective physical and psychological recovery will become an integral part of the hospital network.

Non-specialized inpatient rehabilitation units will operate in 136 cluster and supercluster medical facilities that are part of the capable network. Each of these medical facilities will have 30 to 60 rehabilitation beds. In total, we are talking about more than 5,250 beds across the country. This will make it possible to provide high-quality and free active and evidence-based rehabilitation services to at least 126,000 patients annually.

Also, 6 specialized rehabilitation medical institutions of the national level will be created.  They should cover:

  • patients with injuries of the thoracic spine and below;
  • people who need psychological recovery;
  • apallic patients;
  • people with cervical trauma, etc.

The Ministry of Defense will launch 5 more rehabilitation centers with 200 beds each.

The goal of the project is to create more than 7,000 beds for patients with injuries, illnesses, and wounds that require active recovery. Patient-centered rehabilitation care by qualified multidisciplinary teams will become more efficient and accessible. That is, it will begin immediately after the patient’s stabilization, which allows for the most effective restoration of lost functions or compensation for them with professionally selected rehabilitation aids. This will allow the patient to return home, to their family, work and full life as soon as possible.

The Ministry of Health has based its rehabilitation development model on the Israeli experience. It takes into account both the needs of civilians and the needs of the military. Thus, it will not lose its relevance even after the war and will not lead to an overabundance of rehabilitation units.

In the capable network, inpatient rehabilitation care is available in 49 cluster hospitals, and outpatient care is available in 63. In addition, 40 super-cluster hospitals provide inpatient rehabilitation services and 44 provide outpatient rehabilitation services.

It should be noted that this type of care is also provided by medical institutions that are not part of the capable network. A total of 421 medical institutions are currently contracted to provide inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation services.

For reference: The Ministry of Health is currently implementing the next stage of the healthcare reform – the creation of a capable network of hospitals. As part of the reform, each oblast becomes a hospital district, which will be further divided into hospital clusters. In each hospital district, medical institutions will be divided into superclusters, clusters and general hospitals.

In particular, rehabilitation care will be concentrated in cluster and supercluster medical facilities. Financial and logistical resources, which are significantly limited during the war, will be prioritized to hospitals that have formed a capable network.