Forced to flee then refused medical care
Civic organizations have sounded the alarm after receiving numerous complaints from people forced from their homes that they are not able to get healthcare. The UNHCR believes that as many as 300 thousand Ukrainians have been forced to flee since Russia’s invasion of the Crimea and the conflict in Donbas, a large percentage of whom are ‘internally displaced persons’ [IDP].
The government is continuing to delay adoption of vital legislation regulating IDP rights, procedure for obtaining assistance, etc.
In the meantime, individual medical establishments are imposing their own unreasonable demands. In an open letter to the Health Ministry, Vostok SOS which works with IDP say that they have received a number of reports that clinics, etc. are demanding that people either pay for medical services or provide proof of registration in the area the medical establishment is located in.
Medical services may well be stretched, but they are dealing with people forced to leave their homes where they are doubtless registered. Most have been placed in temporary accommodation, often places fitted only for the summer.
Winter is coming, and in present conditions IDP are likely to be especially affected by the usual increase in winter illnesses. Most are not able to work and earn a living, many are unable to receive social benefits. The demand that they pay for services is in most cases totally unrealistic.
Vostok SOS is calling on the country’s leaders to provide an official position on the provision of healthcare to IDP and for the Health Ministry to explain this position to local branches of the department.
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