Health minister on a working visit to Ukraine learns about healthcare management in wartime

  • 2024-06-07
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - Health Minister Hosams Abu Meri (New Unity) this week made a working visit to Ukraine where he learned about healthcare management in wartime, LETA was told at the Health Ministry.

In Ukraine, the Latvian minister met with Olena Kondratyuk, Deputy Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada and Ukrainian Health Minister Viktor Lashko and visited medical institutions in Kyiv and Chernihiv. On the visit, Abu Meri was joined by Juris Raudovs, Head of the Latvian Health Ministy's Crisis Management Department, Normunds Stanevics, Chairman of the Board of Riga East Clinical University Hospital (RAKUS), and the hospital's security adviser.

Medics at the Ohmatdyt children's hospital told about the specifics of war injuries. The hospital has provided treatment to around 1,000 injured children and has also admitted  wounded solders when needed. At present, the hospital is treating children with with oncological diseases. Ohmandyt is one of the largest children's hospitals in Ukraine, and the Latvian Children's Fund cooperates with it by organizing rehabilitation camps for children in Latvia.

During a visit to the Institute of Traumatology and Orthopedics of the National Academy of  Medical Sciences of Ukraine, the Ukrainian side expressed its wish to expand the rehabilitation program. The Latvian side, meanwhile, sees opportunities to learn from Ukrainian doctors.

Abu Meri also met with Ukrainian defenders who have received rehabilitation in Latvia, as well as medical students from the Bogomolets National Medical University, a cooperation partner of Riga Stradins University (RSU).

During the bilateral meeting, the health ministers of Latvia and Ukraine signed an agreement on mutual cooperation in implementing various initiatives in the field of healthcare and public health.

Abu Meri said the visit had provided "invaluable insight and understanding" of how to better prepare for emergencies. He pointed out that work is currently underway in Latvia to update legislation on dealing with emergencies and national threats, including the provision of critical medicines and the development of military medicine.

Abu Meri stressed the need for closer cooperation with staff in sharing medical knowledge. The minister noted that Latvia has increased its rehabilitation capacities to accommodate more Ukrainian soldiers, and technical medical supplies are being prepared and will reach Ukrainian hospitals in the near future.

"We will continue to support Ukraine in its fight against the aggressor and will do so until victory," Abu Meri said.

During the visit, RAKUS representatives reached a conceptual agreement with Chernihiv Regional Hospital on cooperation in  transfer of emergency preparedness and sharing of knowledge. Stanevics assured that Latvia would continue to admit Ukrainian soldiers for medical treatment and rehabilitation.