Business news from Ukraine

In 2023, Ukrainian clinics resumed work in view of wartime situation and opened new areas

In 2023, Ukrainian clinics resumed their work taking into account the situation and challenges of wartime and opened new areas, in particular, those that take into account the needs for treatment of war injuries, rehabilitation and reconstruction.

This was announced by the heads of leading private clinics in Ukraine during a roundtable discussion at Interfax-Ukraine on Tuesday.

“In 2023, we regained our position in the market share for our usual services – childbirth and pregnancy. There, we have already successfully transformed into a multidisciplinary medical center, added new services and were able to develop in several new areas, such as obesity treatment, mammary and phlebology surgery, and pediatrics,” said Vadym Zukin, COO and co-owner of Leleka Multidisciplinary Medical Center.

At the same time, he called the clinic’s confirmation of Joint Commission International (JCI) international accreditation for 2024 the biggest achievement in 2023.

“In 2024, we plan to develop the services we already have in new areas, as well as launch several services unique to Ukraine, which we will be able to announce at the end of the year,” Zukin said, adding, “We can talk about our plans only thanks to our Armed Forces, our defenders who are currently protecting us at the front.”

In turn, Oleksandr Linchevsky, Chief Medical Officer of the Dobrobut medical network (Kyiv), reminded of the opening of a new multidisciplinary hospital on Bazhana Avenue in Kyiv with an area of more than 9,000 square meters in 2023. Last year, the Dobrobut Ophthalmology Clinic also started its work in the new hospital.

“This opening was planned from the very beginning, before the full-scale invasion, we planned to open it a year earlier. But even during the war, we were able to open this new hospital with new facilities, new services, new operating rooms. And, of course, it looks incredible,” he said.

Linchevsky also said that in 2023 Dobrobut opened a rehabilitation department in the medical center on Simi Idzykovskoho Street in the capital and plans to open similar departments in its outpatient departments.

In addition, Dobrobut launched a new Center for Somnology and a Center for Onco-Dermatology, which is headed by Professor Maria Kukushkina. Last year, the chain also opened another dental clinic, bringing the total number of Dobrobut dentists in Kyiv to three.

“We like the result of 2023, although we might have wanted to have some of it in 2022,” he said.

Commenting on Dobrobut’s development plans for 2024, Mr. Linchevsky said: “If we say we have nothing to improve, we will be deceiving ourselves.”

“Every comment, every criticism from patients is already a self-sufficient development plan. We just decide to implement this plan immediately or a little later. The war is full of uncertainties, so we will focus on solving operational issues and laying the foundations to realize our hopes and dreams as soon as possible. We have a lot to do every day,” he stated.

For his part, Vitaliy Girin, co-owner of the ADONIS Medical Group, said that in 2023, the group’s clinics provided medical care to more than 250 thousand people. In addition, more than 300 military personnel received rehabilitation assistance.

Mr. Girin also said that last year ADONIS opened two outpatient rehabilitation centers and a rehabilitation center in the left-bank part of Kyiv.

“Despite the blackouts and all the problems we have faced, we see that the number of our patients is gradually increasing,” he said.

At the same time, Girin noted that the pre-war years were associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, so comparing the flow of patients with the pre-war period would not be correct. “The numbers are not very correct, but we have about 50% fewer patients,” he said.

“The most important achievement is that we were able to keep the team we have,” emphasized Girin.

Commenting on plans for 2024, he said that the most important task for ADONIS is to optimize business processes.

“We will implement new quality standards and introduce the latest technologies. We also want to focus on developing a culture of regular checkups, because health is in the hands of people themselves. They have already realized this, and no one is responsible for it but them,” he said.

For his part, Rostyslav Valikhnovskyi, director and founder of the Dr. Valikhnovskyi Clinic medical center, said that the clinic specializes in scheduled and urgent surgeries. In 2023, it expanded and developed a wide range of services for Ukrainian and foreign patients, and also actively provides the necessary surgical care to military personnel.

“We opened a clinic in Ivano-Frankivsk. It is a full-fledged building according to modern standards, even newer than the one in Kyiv. This clinic helps us a lot during the war to provide services to those patients who have left for western Ukraine but need highly specialized surgical services,” he said.

In addition, Valikhnovsky announced the construction of a second building in Kyiv with an area of about 2,500 square meters. At the same time, changes were made to this project to expand the area of bomb shelters and increase the bed capacity by 35 beds.

In addition, the Dr. Valikhnovsky Clinic has launched the Valikhnovsky Academy educational project, in which 150 surgeons from different countries with many years of practice experience and their own electronic patient record, which stores medical data in English, are mentored by mentors. This makes it possible to transfer this data to any medical center in the world if necessary.

Commenting on plans for 2024, Valikhnovsky emphasized his intention to build another clinic in Kyiv and western Ukraine.

“Currently, we are looking for a building in the capital of 5-6 thousand square meters, which we can reconstruct, or a land plot for construction. The second part is a clinic in the western region of the country,” he said.

For her part, Oleksandra Zborovska, a senior researcher at the Filatov Institute of Eye Diseases and Tissue Therapy of the National Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine (Odesa), said that the clinic did not stop working in 2023. She called the main achievements the retention of the scientific and staff, the continuation of medical services and research.

According to Zborovska, the number of patients has fully returned to the pre-war level, but there are more serious patients in their structure. “The number of severe cases is increasing,” she stated.

Zborovska also said that the clinic has treated about 1,500 victims of war trauma, both military and civilians.

She also recalled that the institute had opened a new seven-story building with the most modern ophthalmic equipment.

In addition, the institute’s staff, who treat eye injuries, have spoken at major international conferences to present their unique experience.

“The breakthrough that we were able to realize based on our experience in creating new projects not only in practical but also in scientific terms is very important for us,” she said.

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The majority of medical experts, who had fled abroad due to the Russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine, have come back and continue to work, practitioners and experts in the sphere of medicine said during a roundtable discussion hosted by the Interfax-Ukraine News Agency on Thursday.
“For the moment, 98% of personnel are in place. Some of them left for western Ukraine or abroad in the first months of the war, however, today almost all of them have come back and continue to work,” Head of the Department of Cardiometabolic Diseases of the Clinic for Adults of the State Institution “Center for Pediatric Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine,” PhD in Medical Sciences Yevhen Marushko said.
“Speaking about the personnel of the Filatov Institute, almost none of our employees left. Some 99% of our personnel stay here. There is a shortage of specialists in very specific profiles as there are few of them all over the country. If specialists, whom we already lack, leave, this has a negative impact on the level of medical assistance,” ophthalmologist of the highest category, head of the department of inflammatory pathologies of the eye and microsurgical treatment of their consequences at state institution “Filatov Institute of Eye Diseases and Tissue Therapy of the National Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine” Oleksandra Zborovska said.
In turn, Business Development Director of ADONIS medical group of companies Svitlana Lonska said that the majority of the personnel of private medical institutions have returned, while those who are abroad also plan to come back soon.
Despite the fact that a maternity hospital was destroyed during large-scale military operations in Kyiv region, the doctors did not suspend their work and had to deliver babies under emergency conditions, she stressed.
At the same time, Head of the Department of Nephrology and Renal Replacement Therapy of the National University of Health Protection, owner of the Nephrology Clinic, Professor Dmytro Ivanov noted that the doctors and senior staff, who have returned to Ukraine, thus proved the level of their reliability.
“In the first two months we lost more than 60% of doctors and around 75% nurses in Kyiv in the first two months. Almost no medical personnel remained in the districts of Ukraine where military operations were conducted. Around 90% of medical staff have returned as of today. I think this could be considered a criteria of reliability of doctors and senior staff, for example, heads of departments and chief doctors,” Ivanov said.
Chief Physician of the National Cancer Institute, PhD in Medical Sciences Andriy Beznosenko said that the patient flow significantly reduced at the National Center Institute in the first month of the war.
“We received 150 patients during the first month of the war, while last year we received 2,700 patients during the same period of time,” he said.
The expert also noted that the specialists of the National Cancer Institute do the utmost to monitor the situation with the oncology centers in the temporarily occupied territories.
“Today, Kherson, Melitopol, Mariupol oncology centers and the one in Krasnyi Luch are under occupation. They lack personnel and there are patients there. But there are no medicines for treatment and we are unable to deliver them,” Beznosenko said.


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Post-COVID rehabilitation is necessary for patients even at the time of stay in a medical facility, and 20-40% of patients who have recovered will suffer from post-COVID syndrome, a number of experts voiced this opinion during a press conference at Interfax-Ukraine. “Out of 100% of people who are sick with COVID-19, some 20% need hospitalization. Some of these patients need hospitalization in intensive care units, as well as mechanical ventilation. Rehabilitation for such patients is necessary even in the intensive care unit, especially for patients with artificial lung ventilation. Rehabilitation is also important for patients who move from the intensive care unit to the hospital,” Vadym Kerestey, the head of the rehabilitation department of the Adonis network of medical clinics, said.

At the same time, the expert emphasized that currently in Ukraine, very few rehabilitation measures are carried out in intensive care units, and rehabilitation centers do not cover all needs.
He noted that the majority of patients who had been ill in a mild form also need post-COVID rehabilitation, since patients have impairments from different systems. Patients often have tachycardia, lung problems, reduced ability to work, acute disorders of cerebral circulation, thrombosis, which increases the risk of strokes, disorders of the nervous system.

In addition, the country also has a demand for post-COVID rehabilitation among foreigners, the expert emphasized.
Physical therapy is especially important, he said.
“Physical therapy will accelerate the recovery of patients. Physical therapists teach patients to move, breathe correctly, determine the physical condition and the body’s ability to exercise,” Kerestey said.
The head of the department of inflammatory eye pathologies and microsurgical treatment of their consequences of the Filatov Institute of Eye Diseases and Tissue Therapy of the National Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine, Oleksandra Zborovska, in turn, noted that patients after coronavirus also need to undergo rehabilitation with ophthalmologists.

“From the point of view of an ophthalmologist, everyone needs rehabilitation, even those who were not sick, since we were all on isolation, which significantly increased the time of contact with gadgets. There is evidence that an increase in myopia in children is recorded. Therefore, visual hygiene and a dosage visual load regimen are of great importance. Regarding post-COVID rehabilitation, patients come with different complaints and need to be observed by a doctor,” she said.
At the same time, Vitaliy Usenko, the medical adviser to Farmak, noted that, according to the latest data, 20-40% of patients who have recovered will suffer from post-COVID syndrome.
“Post-COVID syndrome has been included in the international classifier of diseases. The Ministry of Health of Ukraine has signed an order with a protocol for rehabilitation care for patients with coronavirus disease. It is impossible to implement the protocol with the help of one health system, and it is very good that rehabilitation services appear,” he added.
According to Usenko, during post-COVID rehabilitation, drugs that are used in the treatment of COVID-19 can be used, but only as directed by a doctor.

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