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European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations
News article23 March 2023Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO)1 min read

Ukraine: 2,000 Ukrainian patients transferred to European hospitals since the start of the war

Patient on a stretcher being moved to an airplane
An ongoing medical evacuation of a Ukrainian patient to a hospital in Europe.
© European Union, 2022 (photographer: Bartosz Siedlik)

To ease the burden on Ukrainian hospitals, the EU has been coordinating regular medical evacuations of Ukrainian patients, be they chronically ill or injured by the war, for more than a year. As of today, more than 2,000 Ukrainian patients have been transferred to receive specialised care in hospitals across Europe via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.

The patients have been transferred for treatment to hospitals in 20 European countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden.

The evacuations are further supported by the EU Medevac Hub in Rzeszów where patients receive 24/7 nursing care. The hub serves as a transfer centre for patients who have been transported from Ukraine to Poland by land, and who from the hub will be airlifted to hospitals across Europe.

European Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič said: “More than a year ago the EU started organising medical evacuations of Ukrainian patients to relieve the immense pressure on Ukraine's healthcare system. Today we mark more than 2,000 successful transfers of Ukrainian patients to hospitals across Europe. I am grateful for the EU-wide solidarity in welcoming these vulnerable patients at a time in need. I want to especially thank Norway for your expertise and this excellent cooperation over the past year. Together, we are saving lives.”

European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Stella Kyriakides said: “The brutal Russian invasion has caused huge damages to the Ukrainian health system, putting the health and lives of Ukrainian citizens at risk. For more than a year now, to support Ukrainians in need of treatment, patients have been transferred to hospitals in European countries and Norway to receive care as well as me mental health and trauma support. I would like to express my admiration for the commitment and professionalism of the emergency medical teams from Ukraine and EU bordering countries that ensure the patients' safe transfer to the EU. This joint work will continue, as will our support to Ukraine – for as long as it takes.”