Health Care in Ukraine
The Health Care policies in Ukraine of the current and preceding governments have had roughly the safe efficacy as real estate policies. Despite extensive attempts at reform, the Ukrainian birth rate continues to drop and the mortality rate is high and still climbing. In 2008 alone an official census reported a negative five percent population growth, and the life expectancy for a male is only 68 years.
The Ukrainian National Health Service officially offers free health care for the whole population, but a critical lack of funding, overseas labor drain and low wages for doctors have meant that under-the-table payments have become the norm, and most doctors have to ask for some form of service fee.
Expats using the national service will face staff with limited or no English, lengthy waiting lists for non-emergency treatment, medicine shortages and conspicuously lower cleanliness standards. If you are on any prescription medicines, take adequate supplies with you. Tick-borne encephalitis, Lyme disease, Crimean-Congo fever and rabies are frequent problems, and there are even occasional reports of Cholera and Hemorrhagic Pneumonia outbreaks. The Joint United Nations Program on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) has reported that Ukraine has amongst the fastest growing rate of HIV/AIDS in the western world.
Kiev residents are spoiled for private health care choice. Most routine matters can be addressed at any one of the city’s clinics, such as American Medical Center or Eurolab. Both support staff and medical personnel speak English, and paperwork can typically be taken care of by in-house administrators. Should a more invasive procedure be called for, there’s even Boris private hospital, where patients can expect a high standard of care that’s comparable with many of the best facilities in the west.
A full range of diagnostics is available either on-site, or through private entities with a quick turn-around time. Emergency services can be handled by the hospital as well. Move One can bring you on a tour of the clinics, and help find the one that makes the most sense for you and your family.
In Case of Emergency – Dial 112
The quality and availability of medical care in an assignees new home will often be a top priority for an expat planning an international assignment.How will I find a doctor? What language will he or she speak? Who can help me in case of an emergency? These are only a few questions that may be on your mind.
Kiev, Ukraine’s capital, offers a mix of both public and private facilities, with standards in the private sector that compare favorably with the most advanced practices in Europe. Healthcare providers who cater to the expatriate community in Kiev are primarily clinic-based. The city is also host to a private hospital, meaning that the majority of your medical concerns, from routine care to emergencies, can be adequately addressed through the private system.
One of the more popular locations for treatment is simply called Boris. Boris offers everything on the menu, including both diagnostics and surgical treatment. It operates facilities on both sides of the Dniepro, and has a state-of-the-art hospital on the left bank. Residents can even request a private Boris ambulance by dialing 238-0000.
Other clinics, such as American Medical Center, Medikom, and Eurolab, are smaller, but also of a high international standard. Should a patient encounter an unusual health issue that cannot be treated in-house, clinic doctors will make a direct referral to either a government or private hospital. Legal residents of Kiev are covered by the national health care system, which is in addition to whatever insurance that they may have from other sources.
State medical service models, though, can be complex by design, even for locals with experience navigating the system. Throw in the fact that communication with medical personnel at public institutions is near impossible without knowledge of Russian, and it’s not surprising that most transferees rely exclusively on private health care. Employees associated with private clinics speak English –including the support staff– and the atmosphere is service-oriented.
Most private health care clinics will bill your insurance company directly, so there is typically no need to pay up front. However, in cases where procedures are not covered, do keep in mind that credit cards won’t necessarily be accepted everywhere.
Emergency services are handled by both private and public hospitals. The general emergency number for Kiev is 03, but it’s highly unlikely that operators will understand a language other than Russian or Ukrainian. Clinics have their own dedicated emergency numbers. Operators can call an ambulance on your behalf, and arrange for a clinic doctor to meet you at the hospital.
Pharmacies are plentiful in Kiev, and easily identified by this word: Apteka (pronounced aptieka). If you happen to be visiting the doctor, you’ll find that private clinics often have small pharmacies on-site. For anyone needing medication outside of the regular business day, after-hours pharmacies are evenly distributed throughout the city.
In general, expatriates are more than satisfied with the health care available in Kiev. If you are considering relocation, and have specific concerns about the medical system, let Move One be your guide. Contact one of our specialists to ensure that you get all the answers you need.
Clinics in Kiev:
JEHF (Joint European Health Force)
Phone: 494 3438
Dobrobut Childrens Clinic
Laser – Vision
Phone: 484 1090/ 223 2435
Notes: full service eye clinic, examination, and optical shop.
Ukrainian German Clinic
Phone: 503 9393
Notes: Offers consultations with specialists by appointment. Open Mon-Fri 8:00 – 20:00; Sat 8:00 – 15:00; on Sunday is closed.
Nesterovskiy Pereulog 13/19
Phone 272 4900
International Ophtalmological Clinic
Ivana Lepse 65
Phone: 251 2101
Notes: Private OBGYN
Phone: 206 2000
Notes: Center of diagnostic medicine. Offers 24 hours first aid assistance.
Pharmacies in Kiev:
Artema 10/ Sichovy-Striletska
Phone 272 1109
Yaroslaviv Val 37/1
Phone 455 9482
Shevchenko Boulevard 17
Phone 234 2286
Mothers and Children Pharmacy
Phone 278 3249