EU officials at the 'EU Medevac Hub' in the Polish city of Rzeszow on September 1, 2022 | Source: @JanezLenarcic Twitter account
EU officials at the 'EU Medevac Hub' in the Polish city of Rzeszow on September 1, 2022 | Source: @JanezLenarcic Twitter account

The European Union has opened up a hub for medical evacuations of Ukrainian patients in Poland. The aim is to speed up transfers to European medical facilities.

On Thursday, September 1, a European Union official together with the Polish and Ukrainian health ministers opened the 'EU Medevac Hub' for medical evacuations of Ukrainian patients.

According to an online statement from the European Commission (EC), the facility is in the Polish city of Rzeszow, around 70 kilometers from the Polish-Ukrainian border.

The new center will expand the operations of an EU program set up in March that has brought more than 1,100 Ukrainian patients from Rzeszow airport to hospitals in 18 European countries for treatment since March 11.

There are two medical evacuation flights a week, an EC spokesperson said at a press conference on Thursday. They are operated by Norway, which also brings patients to Rzeszow with ambulance buses for onward evacuation, according to the EC.

Also read: Ukraine: 300,000 non-EU foreigners among war refugees, IOM says

Vital support for Ukraine's strained healthcare system

"The number of wounded Ukrainians grows daily, while the destruction of healthcare facilities deprives patients of the treatment needed," EU commissioner for crisis management Janez Lenarcic said on Twitter. "We cannot abandon these people."

Lenarcic also noted that the evacuations would not only be for people wounded in the war, but also for people who need critical chronic care they can no longer access because of the widespread damage in Ukraine.

The medical evacuation hub is financed by the European Union. Partners of the project include the International Organization for Migration, the World Health Organization, Doctors without Borders, the Polish Center for International Aid (PCPM) and the Polish and Ukrainian health ministries.

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With dpa

 

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