Medicine in Ukraine. Myth and reality

Ukrainian doctors

In this article we will try to deliver maximum information about Ukrainian healthcare. But ut will be full not only with bold statistics which means nothing usually, but with real people testimonials, story of doctor, who sees the situation from the inside and general impression from numerous contacts with native medicine. You can be assured on the spot that I`ll try not to criticise a lot modern Ukrainian medicine as it impossible to be perfect to any of state branches or institutions in such unfirtunate country.


So we have "contingently" free medicine now in Ukraine. What does it mean? First of all, we haven`t got such a term as "Family doctor": everybody can go to a local hospital and receive treatment there. If one nit able to walk, we call 911 (103) and invite it to adress. That means you have the right to be serviced in local state hospitals by your place of registration but you also need to have all necessary stuff for visit: cotton wool, syringe, all the tubes for possible analyzes etc. In addition you`ll be proposed to give some money for supporting of this particular hospital. You must understand that salaries in Ukrainian medicine are really scanty and nobody will survive on them. This is where Western and our medical systems are extremely different. But nevertheless there are lots of students in medical institutes and lots of people still want to be doctors. Why?

Ukrainian doctors

This complicated for the first sight question can be easily answered. The fact is, the most sufficient financial flow in medicine is pouring past the official structures. Doctors have a lot of donations and charitable contributions from thankful patients. And this is not the only scheme to achieve money in medicine. Some doctors making private consultations for money, some of them recommendeing affiliate drugstores to their patients and then have percent for every "client". Some old and honored doctors, surgeonfor example, has whole departments in their hospitals under their subordination. They decide when to make a repair on the foor and in the chambers, wholly manage the department. So when patients are coming for help, the head of department name the certain sum of money for surgery. Of course, it`s not quite legal but nobody refuse because every amount of money affrims in private conversation with patient or his relatives after personal approach. People know that doctors want to live too and their salaries not allow them to survive. You can call it whatever: absolute democracy or anarchy, or even total corruption but this is how it works in reality.

Ukrainian surgeons

Of course there is a quite easy way to fiх this global corruption. State control. The government can set prices for every medical manipulations and this rules will be same for everybody. That would be fair. Poor people could be registered by yearly income and can have another conditions of payments. So we can easily legitimaze all our corruption with exceptionally good consequences to our eceonomy, society and quality of medicine, because when people have comprehensible and transparent rules for everyone, everybody wants to follow these rules. Another way, we can inroduce mandatory medical insurance, but our society is more dinstanced from such innovations of cumpslory permanent payments. Our people have a habit to economize. But eventually lose more money 🙂


As for quality of medicine, we still have decent level of skilled and professional doctors as we had been achieved in bequest one of the most qualitative healthcare and education in the world after Soviet Union. But I have a very big doubt that everything will be go in the old way in near future. Capitalism invaded us and modern people want money before they had been done work properly. This is what ruins our mentality.


I need an inquiry


I promised a real story from people about the fact of real deal with local hospitals. Hear`s the story of a woman who was needed an inquiry to make a visa:

Nurse is signing the inquiry

Learning about the timetables for the various doctors, I invaded the local clinic. Before it, for joke, I armed myself with a smartphone to be able to photograph and record the queue, as doctors will be rude to me. To my surprise, my "weapon" wasn`t necessary. 

While I were redirected from office to office, and forced to wait until all the doctors office drink some tea, but I have had not driven to such a condition to decide to complain. 

In the end, I got a proper examination. Especially memorable was Kyiv City Blood Center, whose services I decided to use to kill two birds with one stone: and to help someone, and to do a blood test for free . 

Kiev clinics often sent to private laboratories whose services are, for example, are a little less than a student scholarship or the minimum pension. Therefore, the option to become a donor seemed to me advantageous. But there I was forced to go through 5 or more points of the quest before still take this red life-giving liquid. 

Yes, all this bustle was terribly unpleasant, took a lot of time, but I've got more or less high-quality medical examination free of charge. I realized that the whole situation with the Kiev clinics can be described as follows: perhaps this is one of the few positive "fragments" of the social institutions of the Soviet Union, that not all of us appreciate.


Healthcare is reflecting the inner health of state. We have very problematic country and there is no surprise our medicine has big problems too. But as we saw, we have a lot of things to му proud of even in medicine. For example we have very high level of treatment comparing to developed countries and for much less money. Many foreigners come to us for medical service, especially cheap and professional dentists. Dentist services in Ukraine are cheaper 2-3 times comparatively to Germany. Year by year situation is stabilizing and I have an impression that in a couple of decades we can have very good level of healthcare in Ukraine. We only need to have the political will for reforms. 


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here