Health System and Hospital in Ukraine

Hi everyone, I'm new member in the expat.
I'm married since 3 yrs with my Ukrainian wife and in relationship more then 4 living in England.
Often I found my self talk with her but maybe her no experience I do not have the answer clear that I would like to list for understanding how it works the Ukrainian public health system.
She told me that in Ukraine the health system and the hospital are public managed so not private.
She told me as well that people that need hospital and need to be hospitalised nothing is provided from the hospital from medicine to even sting and various needle and bandage need to buy everything plus doctor want money as well for go through the treatment and obviously all the services provided from the hospital blood test and various x-ray or CT scan.
Please anyone have experience or knowledge to clarify to me how it works the system cause I'm a bit confused about it.
All of this one because I got really serious health problems in my life and makes me concerned all of that.
In the far future we spoke with my wife to spend in Ukraine part of our life so for this reason I'm really wondering to know about that.
Thank you in advance for any answer.

Hi Andrew, present time in Ukraine is providing medical reform so it is difficult to say how it will work in future.
Concerning the information from your wife, particulary she is right. But we have private clinics too. There is different level of prices.
The best private clinics in Kyiv are Boris and Dobrobut and the price of services is rather high. There are some other clinics such as Adonis, Intosana... their prices are lower.

In public hospitals medical services should be free but of course they haven't enough medical supplies, so sometimes you should buy them yourself. The salar of doctors is rather low so most of them are taking bribes. Of course they will help you without bribe too, but with the bribe the level of service will be higher and the doctor will be more friendly.

Emergency medical service are free but according new medical instructions in some cases it could be difficulties to call the emergency.

I live in Kyiv so this situation is for Kyiv. May be in regions there will be some differences, but I think the situation in regions is worth.

Hi there
Public health in Ukraine for citizens and permanent residents is free, but you need to pay for medication and it helps to give the doctor  a little bit. But the cost in most cases is very little. Blood test £5. Xray £8 and so on. local medical insurance for the year is about £35. A good medical cover will cost you £900 to £1200. a year for privet care and all costs are met. Sounds bad not really the Yanks been doing this for years, its only the British that get it easy. Anything really bad pop into Poland with your EU medical card and get it free. Most other complaints you can self treat, They have prescribing Pharmacy's here, so a lot of drugs are over the counter..

martin Odessa

Martin and Tes give good solid info.
Best for you because you have the Euro health from Britain to go to Poland.
Presently Ukraine only good if you have the money to pay for what you need.
Good example is what my fiancé and I are going through with helping her father in Poltava.
He has a very badly infected lower left leg from an injury and diabetes.  It is a kind of ulcer that is eating his leg.  Regional hospital is overcrowded and he will not be admitted before we can pay up front for what he will need.  We are very poor with too many other debts to raise the money needed.  We are desperate to help him and do not know how we can.
Just a very bad situation.

hi there
just a few pointers and i know it sounds really daft , but check on internet. For an Ulcer that will not heal use sugar, normal every sugar. change every day..A doctor in UK is trialling this in Leicester Hospital. look … 799/......
In eastern Europe antibiotics, are a little old hat. Get him to have a Phage match test. Very cheap and very very worth while, less than $10.



Eating raw garlic may help and try pacing the wound with fresh crushed garlic.
Garlic is a natural antibiotic.

So good of you to chime in.
I am not with my family in Poltava now but I will pass this on to them.  Thank you so much.
But his leg is so badly eaten away at this point I can not believe they will not amputate.

Hi Alvpackman.
It's a very pity situation. My father was in the same situation ten years ago.
To my opinion, your fiance should find very good vascular surgeon in Poltava and go directly  to him and to persuade him to take her father into the hospital for the therapy. If he wants money just give him this money. And persuade this doctor to leave her father in hospital at least for one month. She should said that she is ready to pay for the room. Ten years ago in Kyiv it cost 100 USD per week, hope now prices didn't change significantly.
Unfortunately in this situation your family should pay for many other things. If there will be surgeon operation there will be necessary to pay for the surgeon, for the anesthesiologist, pay for the reabilitation after the operation.

So be active, persuade, if you see that the doctor is not listen, try to persuade with the money. But don't stop, don't listen that you couldn't do anything in this situation. You could.
Hope there will be enough time to save the leg.

I searched the web, trying to find the vascular surgeon in Poltava with good reviews.
Oleksandr Bezkorovainyi is the head of vascula surgeon department in Poltava Regional Hospital. If it is possible, your fiance should go directly to him.
Here is the information about his department (unfortunately in Ukrainian). I see that they are working with vascular diseases caused by diabet: … 6%d1%97-2/

Good Luck.

Thank you Tes.
Hope you do not mind me just calling you Tes.
I am very thankful for your advice.
I know it is the regional hospital where he must go.
With the heavy snows recently that was another problem just to get around.  Her car is a small front drive Toyota with only summer tires too.
I will give her the name of the surgeon.
I know that a friend was also saying he had this problem.  In his case they took veins from the healthy leg and transplanted into the infected leg.
But yes of course it always comes down to paying the money.  She still needs to get him admitted for the evaluation.  Then to get the bad news of how much!
I thank you again Tes.

Thanks Tes.
My fiance will be taking her father to the regional hospital today if roads are passable.  She needs to have help from people to get him from the apartment to the car.  Then from the car into the hospital.  She says that a simple wheel chair is not even available.  Do you or anyone know if there is such a store where you can rent a wheelchair?  Or buy one?  Not talking about an electric mobile chair but simple chair the person can operate or someone can help with.  Thanks again.  Alan

Hi Alvpackman.
Tes is ok :)
I've find this advertising concerning the wheelchair in Poltava.
Phone number is +38-067-132-87-06
The price for rent is 500 UAH per month, but it is a pledge--2 500 UAH. If you return the wheelchair, the pledge returns to you. … wQGJS.html

If you don't succeed with this one, I could search you another one.

Great!  Thank you Tes.
I will give this to my fiancé.  She has finally got him into the regional hospital today.  So far the doctors have already given them the bad news of his left leg needing amputation.  They will be making further diagnosis in the next 2 days.  But having a wheelchair for him is good news.

Alvpackman, it's pity to hear.
May be your fiance could find the information about which surgeon and anesthesist are the best in this hospital.
It's rather difficult operation, so it should be done in a high qulity.

Allow me to give you some insight as to what it is like.
Here is what is happening for me.  I currently live in the US.  My fiance of 6 years lives in Poltava, Ukraine.  Her father is now in the regional hospital with a badly infected leg wound.  It has come to the point where he has just received an operation involving the transplant of a section of healthy vein from his right leg to his left.  The doctors are very thorough and experienced.  The hospital itself is overwhelmed.  Patients wait to get in.  Once in they are literally waiting in the hallways on the floor.  They do  not have enough wheelchairs.  Her father is in a room but there are 5 other patients who share this room all in their own bed.  The doctors ran many tests before performing the transplant.  They are now waiting to see if the operation is successful and the blood supply going to his left leg is working.  But in the next day or two they may be forced to perform an amputation.
Up to this point it is exactly true what your wife has told you.  My fiance must buy everything that is needed for his care.  She also prepares food for him as she does not trust the quality of the food prepared in the hospital.  The doctors must also be paid but I am surprised they have not yet asked for this.  I myself was expecting my fiance to pay up front right away before her father would even be admitted.
There is discussion in the current government to do something to address the health care needs of the people of Ukraine.  What will be determined is any one's guess.  This a major problem that every civilized nation is continually addressing.  Here in the US it is a constant battle between political parties.  It is very distressing for people to not go to a doctor or the hospital because they are too poor to pay for the needed service.  It is common then for people to wait until they are in too much pain or dying before getting treatment.  My personal beliefs are that health care is a right of every person no matter the government opinion.  It is virtually a crime to ignore provision of health care because of ability to pay.  This is a issue that should not exist.  But it does.
I do believe that there is such a thing as insurance for health care in Ukraine.  But it would only apply to having a private doctor or hospital.  Again if you have money it is available.
So I hope this gives you a clearer understanding of health care in Ukraine.  I would advise you to listen to your wife and try to watch what the Ukraine government comes up with in the months ahead.

Just a short note to go along with my post.  As I am posting this there is an advertisement for private health insurance on my screen from a health care provider in Ukraine.  So you may check that out as it could be worth your while.

Alvpackman, I see the advertisment of Health insuarnce in Germany, provided by Allianz.

Hello again.
I would like to give an update to my fiance's fathers hospital care in Poltava.  So far his situation has improved.  I am impressed by the doctors care in diagnosing his overall health and performing tests to make sure he understands his patients situation.  They have performed a vein transplant from his right leg to his left.  At this time his left leg has shown great improvement with much improved blood flow.  They were also concerned with any remaining infection causing him to have a fever.  The doctor worked on a infection a few days ago actually cutting out dead flesh and releasing infected matter.  This was done at the patients bedside.  Again the hospital is very crowded and not at all like a American hospital.  But now the fever has broken and this of course is a good thing.  The doctors are still concerned that his leg is getting proper circulation as 2 toes are discolored.  But it is looking much better at this point an amputation of his lower leg is less of a possibility.  But there is still the matter of his wounds healing and I have no idea of just how they will proceed with this.  If I were to include photos you would see just how deeply and severe they are and there is more then 3 separate wounds now.
But I want to make sure that from what we are seeing you can have confidence in the professionalism and care of the doctors in this particular hospital in Poltava Ukraine.  Very reassuring.  If they were caring for me I would be very thankful to them.

Hi Alv. It'a good to hear such good news. Later you should consult with the doctors what the father of your fiancé should do to avoid such situations in the future. I think there should be several prophilactic treatment during a year.
Unfortunately we have good doctors but an awful medical system. Now situation is becoming even worth because young and clever  doctors are studying English and migrate to the Western Europe. Only few enthusiasts are staying in Ukraine :(
Just interesting, is that doctor the one, whom I found or another one?

It is so simple how this problem started.
Her father Vladimir was working at the family dacha and while walking received a prick from a bush into his lower left leg.  It was just a small sliver.  Later it was simply pulled out.  But either no care or not the proper care was performed to clean and disinfect the wound.
It became infected and steadily grew worse over time.
We are talking longer then one year at this point.  My fiancé explained the resulting spread of the infection to other open wounds as a ulcerous condition.  Just a very unfortunate decision not to seek medical attention promptly.  But this is such a common human decision even here in the USA.  When people do not have money for medical care or health insurance they will only go when they can no longer endure the pain or become frightened enough to finally take action.  At this point the damage has already been done and it may be too late to even save their life.
I have asked her for the doctors name but I think it was one other then your suggestion.

Hi Tes.
The doctor’s name is Sapon Leonid Victorovich.
He is Vladimir’s rescuer.  So far so good.  From what my fiancé says if his leg continues to heal and he no longer has a fever amputation will not be necessary.  But I am still worried how his deep wounds will be addressed.

Hi Alan, I found an article about him. He is very experienced and working in this hospital for more than 30 years. He also has some patents in this kind of surgeon. … i-25-rokiv

Really?  Wow!  Thank you Tes.  That is very good to know.  I am sure that my fiance does not even know this about him.  We are a Christian family and our faith in God and belief in prayer is well rewarded when we see God do what He does.  As I have grown older I know God does not always answer my prayers as I would have wished.  But I know I certainly do not know what God knows.
I will pass this along to her.  How are you?  In my own troubles I overlook those who I meet who help me.  I am very thankful for your advice and care.

The EHIC is only valid for people from the UK traveling. If you become a resident in another country is ceases to be valid. Furthermore, if Brexit does happen on 20th March the EHIC issued from the UK will be no more than a useless piece of plastic.

Hello again.
Time for the latest update with my faince's father in Poltava Regional Hospital.
So much for all of the good effort in trying to save his leg.  Just too long that it has been neglected.  Too much infection and bad circulation of blood occurring.  Decision has now been made to perform the amputation.  I do believe they will do so below his knee.  A good thing for future use of prosthetic.  But we are satisfied and thankful for the excellent skills and knowledge of the doctor and his efforts to save the leg.  But the health of Vladimir is most important.  If he continues to deal with the badly infected leg this would put his life in peril from the infection.  The money has now run to over $4,000.00 US.  This has been most difficult as I thanks to God was able to help.  But I am in a very difficult financial situation with my own debts and expenses.  Here in US we have a GoFundMe internet national means of receiving donations.  But because people do not trust anything helping someone outside of the country are very reluctant to donate.  First thoughts are that it must be a scam.
Again it is a total shame for any civilized nation that does not have a national health care system in place to protect and care for ALL of it's citizens.  Regardless of ability to pay.  The USA is of great negligence in this matter itself.  It is proven that a person will intentionally put off seeking medical care when they have no money or insurance.  Very often until it is too late to avoid major surgery or even death.
In Vladimir's case what initially should have been simple preventative care has turned into the loss of a limb.  Then dealing with the costs and fitting and care for a prosthesis.

Hi Alan, the situation changes rather quickly.
I could give you some advises, hope they will be useful in such situation.

--after the operation/amputation during first weeks someone should be near him all the time. It is difficult period psychologically and physically. First time he will be almost disabled and there should be person who will help him with everything;

--you should think about the devices which could help him to move. It could be crutches or walker or something else. My father preffered something like that: … gL0o_D_BwE

It doesn't weight much and useful for moving inside flat or house (to go to toilet, kitchen...);

--if his knee will be ok and he plans to use prosthesis, he should make special movements and physical exercises when his wounds will heal up. This should support working perfomance of the knee. Unfortunately my father didn't do anything during a year after amputation  and doctors  told that it is impossible to make a prosthesis because the knee doesn't work.

Thank you Tes.
I will pass your advice to my fiancé.
She has been very diligent in her attention and care for him for many months now.  There has been no one else to care for him.  I think I can understand what you have told me and your father for a good example.

Just an update.  Vladimir is now home and starting to adjust to his new life.  He had his left leg amputated above the knee after all.  He is also going to need his left hip replaced in at least 6 months time.  So he has a lot of recovering to do ahead of him.  The apartment they live in also has no elevator and they live on the 6th floor.  So that will be a constant challenge.  My fiance is getting him a wheelchair but of course will be limited in it's use with not having an elevator.  The good thing is that he is upbeat and is not ready to give in.  But without a doubt this is going to be one of the biggest challenges he will have faced in his life.  And much to my fiance's credit she is very dedicated to his care,  But this is also a great challenge to her.  So we are all hoping everyone can adjust and to still be supportive, compassionate and continue to love one another.

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