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Medical evacuation: almost 3900 war-affected Ukrainians evacuated for treatment in foreign clinics

28 June 2023

For more than a year, the Ministry of Health, together with international partners, in particular, in the framework of cooperation with the European Commission, with the support of the WHO and the Government of Poland, has been providing medical evacuation of affected Ukrainians to foreign clinics. Importantly, the partners not only accept evacuation requests, but also provide transportation by medical flights from the medical evacuation hub in Poland to European clinics where specialized medical care is provided.

In total, this cooperation has helped to send 3,897 Ukrainians for treatment.

To do this, the Ministry of Health submits a request for evacuation, then receives proposals from hospitals in the European Union and the European Economic Area. Then, the Ministry of Health coordinators contact the coordinators of the receiving countries and agree on the stages and routes of safe medical transportation.

Transportation of patients from Ukrainian medical institutions to the medical evacuation hub in Poland is provided by transport medical teams of regional emergency medical care and disaster medicine centers, medical cars of Ukrzaliznytsia, the team of Doctors Without Borders, and paramedic teams from European countries contracted by WHO.

For more information on the medical evacuation algorithm, please follow the link.

It should be noted that first of all, the following are sent to foreign clinics:

  • patients with injuries requiring tertiary (highly specialized) medical care;
  • patients in need of combustiology care (in case of burns);
  • children with neoplasms requiring highly specialized medical care;
  • adult patients with neoplasms requiring highly specialized medical care;
  • children with orphan diseases.

The family doctor or attending physician of the inpatient hospital makes a decision to send a patient for treatment abroad, guided by the Order of the Ministry of Health No. 574 of 05.04.2022 “On Approval of the Criteria for Sending Citizens of Ukraine for Treatment Abroad for the Period of Martial Law and the List of Healthcare Institutions Coordinating the Sending of Citizens of Ukraine for Treatment Abroad for the Period of Martial Law”.

Compliance with the criteria must be confirmed by means of primary accounting documentation No. 027/ะพ “Extract from the medical record of an outpatient (inpatient) patient”. It must be filled in by a doctor of a healthcare institution that coordinates the referral of Ukrainian citizens for treatment abroad.

During a medical evacuation, a patient must have an identity document - a foreign or domestic passport. Extracts from medical records are also required (in particular, for children). However, we emphasize that the absence of certain documents is not an obstacle to the transportation of a seriously injured or cancerous child for treatment abroad.

Each case of medical evacuation requires a separate approach, but usually, the preparation of a patient lasts from 3-4 days to 2 weeks. In case of need for outside help and support due to a serious condition or the need for further postoperative care, the patient may be accompanied by relatives or friends.

Today, Ukrainian citizens can use several routes of medical evacuation for treatment abroad, including:

The first is through the regional health department, which has a designated person responsible for sending Ukrainian citizens for treatment abroad during the period of martial law. You can also go to the regional hospital to see a doctor of the relevant specialty for a consultation and ask about the possibility of treatment abroad.

The second is by submitting a personal application through the Ministry of Health website, as many people do not always have a connection with a family doctor or health department due to the hostilities. Seriously ill Ukrainians or those injured in the war can submit a preliminary application for the Medical Evacuation Program on their own in the Citizens section of the website of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine.

And the third route concerns the application for evacuation abroad of wounded servicemen, which is carried out through the command of the Medical Forces of Ukraine. More information is available on the website:

Since the beginning of the war, the Ministry of Healthcare of Ukraine and its international partners have been organizing medical convoys and evacuating patients to clinics in Europe, where they receive the necessary treatment and further rehabilitation. Please note that such medical convoys are provided free of charge. All costs for such expensive treatment are borne by the governments of the partner countries.