War's Effect on Healthcare in Ukraine

Naheed Ali, MD, PhD

When you’re scanning through the news nowadays about the war between Russia and Ukraine, you witness the damage done to Ukraine: The residents fading away into memories, the food shortages, and the fleeing of people from the country. But have you ever wondered how the hostilities have affected healthcare in Ukraine?

Besides the harm already imposed on medical facilities in Ukraine, there are other problems Ukrainians are facing as well. With medical supplies now critically low, healthcare personnel have fled the region in droves, leaving people without clinical experts to treat them. The "news" isn’t telling us everything about the Ukraine war, and it’s high time we examine the war’s effect on healthcare in Ukraine.

Things We Don’t See on Conventional News

We don’t see how people are suffering outside hospitals and medical centers. We don’t catch on to the number of medical professionals bolting to safer waters. And, we don’t see the citizens beseeching for medical attention at overcrowded hospitals.

The reality is that because of the deadly conflict and exodus, the importation of pivotal goods is at a standstill. Eventually, there will be a shortage of just about everything. Even when it comes to the medical care of civilians and soldiers alike. The gloomy part of it all is that they actually need more medical assistance than ever before, owing to injured soldiers and communities getting devastated by the situation.

Medical Care in Ukraine is at a Standstill

Some hospitals and medical centers don’t have any stockpile of the most essential medical provisions left. And, other countries are afraid to export items to Ukraine, making them all the more vulnerable, especially those in desperate need of medical care. Traveling in and out of Ukraine is now virtually impossible. So, if you need to leave the country to get medical attention, regrettably it’s going to be quite the struggle. You’ll pretty much need to flee the country without anyone spotting you amiably exiting the war-torn lands.

What We Can and Should Do to Help

What can we do to help Ukraine? We can’t announce war against Russia, and we can’t just shell out some medical supplies to them. People around the globe can begin fashioning some organizations that would make it possible to get much-needed provisions to Ukrainian healthcare systems. We can assist people in donating everyday medical supplies to Ukraine, and purvey the means to send the seriously injured to neighboring nations.

We can donate food and fresh drinking water and transport a medical workforce to Ukraine to ensure that everyone is taken care of. Many are already in Ukraine to give both civilians and combatants the medical attention they require.

All told, what is the war’s effect on healthcare in Ukraine? There’s actually just one word that can graciously explain the effect on healthcare in Ukraine: chaos. And, so many people are in need of medical attention there. It’s our onus to assist the people of Ukraine with medical supplies as much as possible. Most of them are bystanders trying to renew normal life as we speak. They deserve much better.

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I'm a U.S. physician turned medical journalist and copywriter. Visit me at HealthcarePropulsion.com.

Miami Beach, FL

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