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Minister of Health and Vice-President of the European Commission sign cooperation agreement

15 June 2023

Minister of Health of Ukraine Viktor Liashko and Vice-President of the European Commission for the Promotion of the European Way of Life Margaritis Schinas signed an agreement on cooperation in the healthcare sector during an official meeting at the Ministry. The meeting included Matti Maasikas, Ambassador, Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine, and other representatives of the European Commission and the EU Delegation.

“We are sincerely grateful to the EU for its constant support since the beginning of the full-scale war. It helps our medical system to survive in this extremely difficult time. However, our cooperation is much deeper and more comprehensive. Together we countered the COVID-19 pandemic. Now we are facing the challenges of war together. Together we are building joint plans that will allow the Ukrainian healthcare system to develop and integrate best practices and experience. Mr. Schinas’s visit to our Ministry is another confirmation of the great plans for future cooperation. It is indeed very valuable and symbolic for us,” noted Viktor Liashko.

The minister also thanked for the support under the medical evacuation program. Over the 15 months of war, close cooperation has helped to evacuate nearly 3,800 Ukrainian citizens for treatment in EU clinics. The European Commission’s support and solidarity with Ukrainian patients will continue in the future. 

“Undoubtedly, russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine affects all spheres of life. But the effective response of the medical system to these challenges is particularly important. Providing medical care to all who need it is a key priority. My visit to Ukraine today is a symbolic gesture that confirms that the EU will support Ukraine for as long as it takes. The signing of the cooperation agreement is our look to the future,” Margaritis Schinas emphasized.

According to the signed declaration, Ukraine and the European Commission intend to develop and deepen cooperation in the field of mental health. Relevant agreements have already been previously reached during the visit of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to Ukraine during a meeting with First Lady Olena Zelenska to improve the psychological assistance program for Ukrainian children. Work is underway to create a training program for people who work with children to provide psychological assistance, taking into account the experience of the traumatic events of the war. 

Particular attention is paid to improving access to healthcare services for refugees and IDPs from Ukraine who are currently residing in EU member states. This includes improving the ability to navigate healthcare services in the host country, expanding access to immunization services, informing about healthcare measures, and integrating Ukrainian healthcare workers.

The meeting participants agreed on the need to develop a mechanism for joint procurement of medicines in case of emergencies. This will help ensure better contract terms and save money due to the volume of purchases.

In addition, they discussed the continuation of cooperation in the scientific field through the EU4Health program, in which Ukraine is an associate participant after the signing of the agreement on 15 July 2022. As a result, Ukraine can access EU4Health funding on equal terms with member states and other associated countries.