Russians blocking delivery of vital medicines to hospitals in occupied territories, says minister

21 May, 05:36 PM
The Russian invasion damaged hundreds of Ukrainian hospitals (Photo:Ministry of Health)

The Russian invasion damaged hundreds of Ukrainian hospitals (Photo:Ministry of Health)

Russia is blocking necessary medicines from reaching medical facilities in the temporarily occupied territories, Health Minister Viktor Lyashko said at a cabinet meeting on May 21. This concerns primarily medicines that are provided by Ukraine via humanitarian aid deliveries.

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"The difficulties that have arisen for the delivery of medicines and the related shortage of them, as well as fuel problems, are being used by the occupiers as one of the ways to force [hospital management] to interact with them," the Minister of Health said.

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There are 235 medical institutions and more than 20 emergency medical teams in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, the Minister noted. The Ministry has provided recommendations to hospital staff regarding work under occupation, as the invaders are put more and more pressure on the management of medical facilities.

To prop up medical facilities in war-affected areas, especially in occupied areas, the government has instituted emergency funding measures. In February-May, medical institutions in Donetsk, Zaporizhzhya, Luhansk, and Kherson oblasts received over 5.2 billion hryvnias ($175.8 million) under the Medical Guarantees Program.

"The lion's share of medical institutions in the occupied territories, with whom we have communication, has already disbursed salaries to staff,” Lyashko said.

“We only lack salary payment data for April for 18 institutions, as their management cannot be reached. We are already cooperating with military administrations to resolve this issue.”

Since the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion, the occupiers have damaged hundreds of Ukrainian hospitals, some of which have been com-pletely destroyed.

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