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Karolinska University Hospital signs Memorandum of Understanding with two hospitals in Ukraine

To enhance collaboration and support healthcare in Ukraine, Karolinska University Hospital has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Kryvyi Rih City Clinical Hospital in Kryvyi and Ohmatdyt National Specialized Children’s Hospital in Kyiv.
Handover of the Memorandum of Understanding. From left to right: Björn Zoëga, CEO, Aida Hadžialić (S), finance councilor Region Stockholm, Viktor Liashko, Minister of Health of Ukraine and Acko Ankarberg Johansson, Minister of Healthcare.

Karolinska is the Swedish hospital that has received the highest number of sick and injured patients from Ukraine, 70 in total. The assistance provided so far has covered patients with war injuries, cancer patients, and children. The first two patients arrived at Karolinska in Huddinge on March 29, 2022, just over a month after Ukraine was attacked by Russia.

– In word and deed, Region Stockholm stands behind the independent state of Ukraine in its struggle against Russia's illegal war of aggression. Through Karolinska, we are taking care of patients from Ukraine, and we have previously sent buses, medical equipment, and medicines. Just last week, we sent another ambulance to Ukraine that we were able to spare. We do not rule out any new support measures. Here in Stockholm or on site in Ukraine, says Aida Hadžialić (S), Mayor of Metropolitan Stockholm and President of the Stockholm Regional Council.

In the two agreements that have now been signed, trauma care, ear, nose and throat care, and pediatric care are primarily identified as areas for in-depth cooperation. Special focus will be placed on, among other things, governance and management, nursing, implementation of new technology and European standards, joint research projects, opportunities for internships and collaboration between trauma centers. The agreements are broadly worded formulated to allow for adjustments. 

– The needs of Ukrainian patients must be the guiding principle and their needs may change over time. The agreements provide a framework for building closer relationships between the hospitals that allow us to learn from each other and improve healthcare in both Ukraine and Sweden. Closer collaboration also means that our Ukrainian sister hospitals will have access to Karolinska's network in Europe and the rest of the world, says Björn Zoëga, CEO at Karolinska University Hospital.

– Since the start of the war, there has been a great desire among Karolinska's employees to do more for the people of Ukraine and for healthcare workers who are struggling under difficult conditions. With the agreements, we now have a better structure for our continued collaboration, says Björn.

Ohmatdyt National Specialized Children's Hospital in Kyiv is Ukraine's leading and largest children's hospital. The hospital, which has approximately 720 beds, treats 20,000 patients annually and performs approximately 10,000 surgeries.

– We already collaborate with Karolinska to a limited extent. The agreement means that we can deepen and broaden our exchanges. In pediatric care, I see a lot of opportunities for collaboration. We know that Karolinska is at the forefront of pediatric oncology and pediatric transplantation. These are areas where we see great potential, as well as in ECMO but also in logistics and transport, says Volodymyr Zhovnir, director of Ohmatdyt National Specialized Children's Hospital in Kyiv.

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The agreements between the two Ukrainian hospitals and Karolinska University Hospitals have been signed as a result of the fact that the Ministers of Health of Ukraine and Sweden signed an overall Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in the area of healthcare and health today, 1 December. 

So far, 70 patients from Ukraine have been treated at Karolinska University Hospital. 36 of these are oncology patients, 31 are trauma patients and 3 are children with various diagnoses.

Kryvyi Rih City Clinical Hospital in the city of Kryvyi Rih in central Ukraine has 860 beds. The hospital offers emergency care, routine medical care and highly specialized medical care in 34 medical specialties. The hospital's catchment area has 800,000 inhabitants.

Ohmatdyt National Specialized Children's Hospital in Kyiv is Ukraine's leading and largest children's hospital. With approximately 720 beds, the hospital treats 20,000 patients annually and performs around 10,000 surgeries. This year marks the hospital's 130th anniversary.

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