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European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR)
News article8 March 2022Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations

Ukraine: Commission sets up European solidarity mechanism for intra-EU medical transfers of refugees and displaced persons in need of healthcare

ukraine refugees

In light of the worsening humanitarian situation in Ukraine and the hundreds of thousands of people fleeing to the neighbouring countries for safety following the Russian invasion, the European Commission has set up a dedicated European system for swift transfers of persons in need of medical care among EU Member States. As the situation unfolds and the number of persons fleeing the war continues to increase, it is crucial to ensure that that refugees and displaced persons receive the healthcare that they need, and that Member States health systems, in particular those in countries bordering Ukraine, are not overwhelmed. Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriakides said: “In the face of the Russian invasion that is tearing families apart, and causing unimaginable suffering, there are thousands of people fleeing from Ukraine that require urgent treatment and care. This includes casualties from the conflict, and those needing continuity of care, such as cancer patients. We have set up a system to coordinate the transfer of patients among hospitals in the Member States. Thanks to EU solidarity in action, we have already 10,000 beds available so far and we will do everything possible to ensure that patients can reach them as quickly as possible.” Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič said: “The EU's Emergency Response Coordination Centre is working around the clock to the coordinate the unprecedented assistance mobilised across since day one of this brutal invasion of Ukraine. The EU Civil Protection Mechanism is ready to assist with channeling the transfer of patients.” To ease the pressure on the health care systems of the Member States bordering Ukraine, a special mechanism has been set up within the Early Warning and Response System of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control through which EU Member States can request support for the transfer of patients in need of medical care. The mechanism will support the matching of the needs for transfers of patients in the bordering EU Member States with offers and capacities for treatment and care available in hospitals in other EU Member States, as well as to securely exchange the information needed.