To date, the EU has successfully coordinated the transfer of 1,000 Ukrainian patients through its Civil Protection Mechanism to provide them with specialist healthcare in hospitals across Europe.
As the number of wounded in Ukraine rises day by day, local hospitals are struggling to keep up with the demand. At the same time, Poland, Moldova and Slovakia requested support for medical evacuation operations (MEDEVAC) from their respective countries, given the large influx of people. To ease the pressure on local hospitals, since March 11, the EU has been coordinating patient transfers to other European countries that have hospital capacity available.
Patients have been transferred to 18 countries: Germany, France, Ireland, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, Romania, Luxembourg, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Netherlands, Austria, Norway, Lithuania, Finland, Poland and the Czech Republic. Recent operations include the transfer of two patients to the Czech Republic on 3 August and 15 patients transferred to Germany, four patients to the Netherlands and 2 patients to Norway on 4 August.
Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič said: “Russia’s unjustified war in Ukraine is pushing Ukrainian health systems to the breaking point. To help Ukraine deal with growing medical needs, the EU has stepped up its activities. In addition to delivery of medicines and medical equipment to Ukraine through the Civil Protection Mechanism, we also coordinate patient transfers. 1,000 Ukrainian patients have been transferred to hospitals in 18 European countries. I want to thank all the countries that welcome Ukrainian patients at this critical time. Solidarity of the EU saves lives”.
European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Stella Kyriakidou said: “Since day one, the EU has been working tirelessly to support Ukraine and its people in the face of Russia’s brutal military aggression. As part of this, the Civil Protection Mechanism of the EU has allowed patients in urgent need of treatment and care to receive it in hospitals across the EU, while reducing pressure on the healthcare systems of Ukraine’s neighboring countries. This is true European solidarity in action. Together with the Ukrainian authorities , we are also looking at ways to bring patients back home when they finish their treatment, if they choose. This life-saving work will continue, as will the EU’s unwavering commitment to support Ukraine.”
Patient transport is financially and operationally supported by the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. The MEDEVAC transport program supports the transport of patients who meet the eligibility criteria, whether they are chronically ill or war-wounded. The mechanism allows the Commission to report to the Ukrainian authorities where patients have been transferred to EU/EEA countries. To securely transfer patient data, patient health records are shared using the Early Warning and Response System (EWRS).