Healthcare in Ukraine



To be ill is bad enough, but to fall ill in a foreign country can be a nerve-wracking experience if you are not prepared. Expatriates who have decided to relocate to Ukraine should arm themselves not just with a secured job, but also with adequate knowledge about the local healthcare system.

Despite the rigorous efforts from the government, the standard of the Ukrainian healthcare system remains poor. Life expectancy is low at almost 71 years for women who live ten years longer than their male counterparts and the country is still experiencing a relatively low birth rate as well as high mortality. Nearly a decade ago, the Ukrainian government with help of the Ministry of Health, planned to reform the healthcare system by improving the quality of medical services and creating a national network of highly trained family doctors. In 2016, the Ministry started to wage war against negligence, corruption and the ugly bureaucratic inefficiency that paralysed the healthcare system. Ukraine’s healthcare system is still not the best in the world but there is hope for its people and expats who seek better lives in its land.

Healthcare Coverage for Expats

Funding for health care is largely through taxation, and all employed individuals are required to contribute to the national health insurance. Ukrainian law states permanent residents can use medical assistance free-of-charge. However, the lack of funding from the state and the low wages for doctors results in some patients making under-the-table payments, and it forces some doctors to ask for a service fee. Private health care is also available in Ukraine and is used by the minority who can afford private insurance or use it as a backup to the basic state-funded health care. Before leaving your home country, it is also best to secure international health insurance in Ukraine so you can easily gain access to private medical services.

Doctors in Ukraine

In September 2016, the Ministry of Health cancelled the Soviet-era ‘Decree 33’ which used to dictate the number of healthcare workers in a particular facility. The Cabinet of Ministers also approved ten key changes that aimed at creating new concepts that will aid the local healthcare system to be on par with Western standards. Today, physicians in Ukraine are obliged to sign contracts with their patients. They will also receive their salaries directly based on their number of patients, and the changes will provide a 30% increase in the wages of primary care physicians. Doctors in Ukraine have an average take home pay of USD200 per month, and as per the Ministry, it is imperative that they get the right salaries that will compensate their hard work to avoid brain drain abroad.

Doctors in Ukraine, especially those in private practice, are well-trained and generally can speak English. Do not forget to bring cash with you even if you have private health insurance in Ukraine. Some doctors and hospitals ask for cash, so just ask for a receipt so you can receive reimbursements from your health insurance carrier.

Hospitals and Emergency Services

Ukraine now prides itself on having a new team at the Ministry of Health that is comprised of medical professionals who are hell bent on raising the country’s healthcare system to European standards. The Ministry strives on providing its citizens who fought the Soviet repression with nothing but the best medical and health services that they deserve. Today, Ukraine has three times the number of hospitals and twice as many hospital beds per capita compared to its neighbouring European countries. However, state-funded medical facilities are still overcrowded and are in bad condition that’s why expats who want to experience quality healthcare are advised to go to private hospitals. Some of the most notable medical institutions in Ukraine are:

Berdychivska St, 1, Kiev, Ukraine

Tel: +380 44 490 7600

Solomianska St, 11A, Kiev, Ukraine

Tel: +380 44 206 2000

Vatslava Havela Boulevard, 65, Kiev, Ukraine

Tel: +380 44 455 8814

52/3 Lomonosova Street, Kiev, Ukraine

Tel: 044 495 2 888

Emergency services in Ukraine may be challenging to come across, as areas such as Kharkiv, Donetsk and Luhansk have armed men and violent demonstrations that make it challenging to receive aid. First and foremost, know what number to call in Ukraine if you have an emergency. In case of medical emergency, dial 103 for first aid or ambulance services.


Continue reading:

International Health Insurance