Viktor Liashko: International medical partnership is about deepening international cooperation at the hospital-to-hospital level
A seminar “Partnership for Transformation: Shaping the Future of Healthcare in Ukraine” was held for medical institutions that are members of the International Medical Partnership Program in Ukraine, as well as those that will join it shortly. The event was attended by First Lady Olena Zelenska, Minister of Health Viktor Liashko, and WHO Representative in Ukraine Dr. Jarno Habicht.
The International Medical Partnership Initiative was launched during the Third First Ladies and Gentlemen Summit in Kyiv on 6 September 2023. It provides for direct cooperation between clinics in Ukraine and foreign medical institutions.
So far, 27 memorandums have been signed. The partnership involves 21 Ukrainian medical institutions from 11 regions: Vinnytsia, Dnipropetrovsk, Zakarpattia, Ivano-Frankivsk, Kyiv, Lviv, Mykolaiv, Odesa, Rivne, Ternopil, and Kyiv oblasts and the city of Kyiv. The project is implemented by the Ministry of Health of Ukraine under the patronage of the First Lady.
Effective partnerships between healthcare facilities help improve the quality of healthcare. The WHO has its model for developing such partnerships — Twinning Partnerships for Improvement (TPI), which is based on setting priorities that are consistent with national health policies, plans, and strategies.
“No medical system can effectively counteract large-scale challenges on its own. This was shown to us first by the COVID-19 pandemic and then by the full-scale war. International medical partnership is about deepening international cooperation at the hospital-to-hospital level, that is, at the level of the needs and profile of a particular medical institution. It is about establishing direct links between doctors and sharing best practices to improve the quality of medicine both in Ukraine and in other countries,” said Minister Viktor Liashko.
“Medical partnership is a bilateral process. Ukraine also has something to give and share. Our experience in the treatment of polytrauma and extreme medicine is now the largest in the world. Every day, our doctors and surgeons solve extremely difficult tasks to save lives. This is something we can and should share. For Ukraine, this is a chance to save more lives. We have very powerful and dedicated doctors and medical staff. And this is our chance to help them not to burn out, to preserve themselves and work better,” First Lady Olena Zelenska emphasized.
Representatives of medical institutions who took part in the event had the opportunity to learn about the WHO approach to twinning partnerships. During the group work, the participants tried to work together to develop the principles of such a partnership, which could be the basis for an international medical partnership program in Ukraine, and to identify potential priority areas for such cooperation.
It is expected that WHO will continue to provide the support necessary for each medical institution to develop a strategic vision of the partnership. It will also provide recommendations to Ukrainian hospital managers on how to effectively organize work with international partners.
It should be recalled that Okhmatdyt and Kryvyi Rih City Clinical Hospital No. 2 recently signed memorandums of international medical partnership with the Carolina University Hospital.