Polska pomoc


Development of voluntary emergency medical system in Ukraine

One of Ukraine’s significant development problems is its inefficient medical emergency system. There is a shortage of trained personnel, equipment and effective management. There are practically no volunteer services, which complement the professional emergency medical services in EU member states.

The medical rescue services in Ukraine take far too long to reach accident victims. As a result, victims cannot be saved or their health after treatment is worse than that of injured individuals in similar situations in Poland. These services’ deficiencies became very clear in the course of the Euromaidan clashes in Kyiv, when many casualties could not be saved in time. Some of the demonstrators spontaneously formed volunteer medical rescue groups, which, however, were neither adequately staffed nor equipped to provide effective assistance.

Many young Ukrainians are interested in offering first-aid assistance. Private individuals, schools and various institutions have been approaching NGOs and expressing their interest in this type of training. Unfortunately, there is a shortage of qualified trainers, training equipment and resources for conducting such training programmes. The information available to the Maltese Relief Service indicates that the organisations now active in Ukraine are able to cover 5 per cent of the current demand for such training activities.

The project is a direct continuation of the measures funded by Poland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2015.

Development of voluntary emergency medical system in Ukraine

The project contributed to the development of the volunteer medical rescue system in Ukraine. Organised volunteer medical rescue is relatively new in Ukraine and began at the time of the Euromaidan clashes in 2014. Today, the number of people interested in taking part in first-aid assistance training courses often exceeds the organisational capabilities of the Ukrainian organisations offering such courses.

Polish aid assistance in 2015 enabled the formation of the first volunteer teams of Maltese Relief Service rescue workers. The plans for 2016 provided for the recruitment, training and equipping of rescue workers in four more cities and for the strengthening of existing teams. A number of training courses in basic and qualified first-aid assistance were held, and volunteer leaders were trained. Team leaders were selected, and a course for trainers in first-aid assistance was organised for them, in combination with their certification at the level of qualified first-aid worker in Poland.

We furnished eight new rescue patrols (32 people) with the equipment necessary for providing medical services and conducting medical rescue operations. We expanded the training capability of the local Maltese Relief Service, which they will continue utilising after the project’s completion. Ukrainian rescue workers contributed to the provision of medical services at the World Youth Days and participated in joint Polish-Ukrainian exercises.

The project was coordinated with activities undertaken by Polish medical rescue institutions. The state health services of Poland and Ukraine have been cooperating since the spring of 2014 with the aim of reforming and strengthening the medical rescue system in Ukraine. Poland continued to provide training and to transfer equipment. The experience of Poland and the other EU states demonstrates that the operation of volunteer paramedic teams is desirable as a service complementary to the professional medical rescue system.

Development of voluntary emergency medical system in Ukraine

The implementation of this project yielded several direct results:

  1. A scenario for a basic course in first-aid assistance was developed, while the syllabus of the existing qualified first-aid assistance training course was updated. Standardised content and graphics for training materials were developed, which included the publication of a booklet on qualified first-aid assistance. Donated training equipment included three advanced adult phantoms with built-in software for training in resuscitation, seven basic adult phantoms for training in resuscitation, four infant phantoms and three junior phantoms.
  2. Some 241 people were trained in basic first-aid assistance (18 courses in six cities). Forty people were trained in qualified first-aid assistance. Twenty people took part in leadership workshops. Eighteen people took part in a workshop devoted to coaching skills, five people took part in a course devoted to rescue service radio communication and four people were trained in the operation of the phantom software.
  3. Fifteen people completed the training and passed an exam for certification to the level of a qualified first-aid worker in Poland.
  4. The project helped launch nascent volunteer medical rescue services in four cities: Yuzhnoukrainsk, Zaporizhia, Berehove and Mariupol. Each of the newly added cities currently has four volunteers trained to the level of a qualified first-aid worker and properly equipped (Mariupol’s medical rescue and training equipment is being stored in Zaporizhia).
  5. The systemic volunteer medical rescue services in Ivano-Frankivsk, Lviv and Kyiv have been strengthened through the training and equipping of new volunteers, who were provided with, among other things, automatic AED defibrillators, one for each of the cities, while the volunteers in Ivano-Frankivsk were given access to a retransmission station.
  6. Forty-four volunteers from around Ukraine improved their skills in the field of medical rescue in the course of field exercises held under simulation conditions in Berehove (Ukraine), with the 12 best rescue workers continuing on to manoeuvres in Szczyrk (Poland); 39 rescue volunteers from Ukraine provided medical protection in the course of the World Youth Days and thus gained experience in medical assistance at mass events.