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Ministry of Health and WHO will continue cooperation to develop rehabilitation system in Ukraine - Viktor Liashko

4 July 2023

Minister of Health of Ukraine Viktor Lyashko met with Satish Mishra, Technical Officer for Disability, Rehabilitation and Palliative Care of the WHO Regional Office for Europe; Guillaume Simonian, Acting Head of the WHO Office in Ukraine; and their team at the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, during which the participants discussed the main priorities in the field of rehabilitation care.

“As President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy noted when presenting the guidelines of the Ukrainian Doctrine at the plenary session of the Verkhovna Rada on the occasion of the Constitution Day of Ukraine, we are faced with the task of creating the strongest rehabilitation industry in Europe: this applies to both the construction of rehabilitation centers and the training of relevant personnel. I am grateful to the WHO for its partnership and support in this area as well. Much has already been done, but much more needs to be done. We continue to work together to develop a high-quality evidence-based system of rehabilitation care in Ukraine,” said Viktor Liashko.

The participants discussed the key strategic areas of cooperation in the development of the rehabilitation system in Ukraine, namely: providing acute and subacute care to victims of the full-scale war and their subsequent rehabilitation, using the capacity of local communities to expand the availability of non-specialized rehabilitation care, and systematically improving the infrastructure capabilities of the rehabilitation system.

The Minister said that the formation of a capable network of medical institutions based on the cluster principle has now been completed. Cluster institutions have been identified throughout Ukraine – multidisciplinary hospitals with full-fledged rehabilitation departments. Thus, it will be possible to ensure the functioning of about 5500 beds for rehabilitation care with an even distribution throughout the country, which will help to increase the availability of high-quality evidence-based rehabilitation care. Another 1,500 beds are planned for specialized rehabilitation facilities.

The Ministry's team has a clear vision for the development of the rehabilitation system. According to the Minister, the goal is to provide quality rehabilitation care at all levels and at all stages. After completing the infrastructure stage, the Ministry of Health is focused on the issues of proper staffing and quality control of rehabilitation care in the institutions contracted by the NHSU. The WHO, for its part, has assured to provide the necessary expert and financial support for the identified priorities in this area.

It should be recalled that the government has recently decided to increase the number of rehabilitation sessions paid for under the Medical Guarantee Program from 42 to 168 days.