500 patients have been transferred from not only Ukraine, but Moldova and bordering EU member states to hospitals around Europe so they can receive continued treatment or urgent medical help, says the European Commission.
There is massive pressure on the Ukrainian health system as a result of the Russian invasion, with border countries struggling to keep up with the medical needs of Ukrainian refugees.
The patients have been sent to hospitals in Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Spain, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, and Sweden to receive the treatment they need.
These transfers are happening through the Solidarity Mechanism, a system for medical transfers under the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.
Through the Early Warning and Response System (EWRS), the patients’ medical records have also been transferred.
The EU has mobilised an assistance effort of unprecedented scale and speed to support and protect Ukraine and its people.
There is a need to organise specialised treatment, both for patients with chronic illnesses and for those injured in the war.
The EU is working to coordinate medical evacuations of Ukrainian patients through its civil protection mechanism. €243 million (US$253m) has been made available from the EU for humanitarian aid projects to help civilians fleeing. This includes support for healthcare.
Another €300 million (US$312m) has gone to an emergency support programme that helps to secure access to basic goods and services, such as education, healthcare, and food. Assistance has also been sent through rescEU medical stockpiles.
EU member states have also channelled aid through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.
While some hospitals in Ukraine have been destroyed, others are facing huge pressure because of people needing trauma care for injuries resulting from the war.
It has been a struggle to get critical medical supplies into the hardest-hit areas of the country, while Ukrainians with chronic diseases, cancer or other medical conditions have had to look a long way for necessary treatments.
Countries bordering Ukraine have also been struggling after receiving a huge influx of refugees, many also in need of medical care. These countries have previously expressed their need for help, given the extra pressure on their health care systems, which were only just recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic when the war in Ukraine started.