Similar to many other state social sectors, Ukrainian healthcare was inherited from the USSR, and frankly, it has largely been stuck in the past so far. Though medical services are declared to be free of charge, it is entirely paid. The vast majority of state hospitals, first aid posts, clinics lack everything: from basic consumables to professional equipment. You should pay here at any step. The locals prefer not to deal with state health care and address it just in case of extreme necessity. Though commercial medical clinics exist in big cities, their price range is not affordable for the average Ukrainians. So how do they manage it? – In ordinary cases they treat by themselves, asking for consultancy directly in a pharmacy or taking an advice from web. The family medicine approach was rolled out recently, but it has been under adjustment to be already assessed.
State hospitals (ambulances) often provide with two comfort options for their in-patients – to stay either in the ordinary ward (usually for 3-6 people) with facilities on the floor or to pay for the ‘commercial’ one: for 1-2 people, well fitted out and comfortable. Prices fluctuate depending on the institute, treatment course and comfort issues and may vary from UAH 300-500 per day to a few thousands. Medicines and some consumables will be extra-charged. It is also commonly meant here to pay for a surgery invasion, anaesthesia and nurse care ‘to the pocket’ personally.
Commercial ambulances in Ukraine and mostly specialized: e.g. obstetrics, ophthalmology, plastic surgery… Their services and charges are clearly defined in the contract, so no ‘pocket gifts’ are acceptable here.
Some leading professionals operate both in state and in commercial clinics, so it is just a question of comfort and charge for their patients.
In case of life-and-death emergency the injured person to be taken to the on duty hospital to get resuscitation there. Then – if you are a foreigner - issue of your mandatory medical insurance arises (details – in our Health Insurance subcategory). As regards other payments – skip to the previous paragraphs. Wish you not to get in such incidents – medical staff even in big cities ambulances doesn’t speak foreign languages.
You can visit our Forum to connect with the other expats & find out what do they know about Ukrainian healthcare.
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