Russia is waging war on Ukrainian hospitals.


At the beginning of October 2022, Rachel Clark rushes into the bomb shelters of Kiev with hundreds of Ukrainians. The UK-based National Health Service (NHS) doctor and author were traveling to Ukraine to provide support and training for doctors dying in hospitals in the country. However, the visit to the capital comes as Russia is pounding the city’s energy infrastructure with missiles.

“You didn’t just hear the missiles coming down, you felt it reverberating in your chest,” Clarke told WIRED Health in London this March. Above ground windows were blown. Shattered glass littered the streets. “I was so scared,” Clark said. “The Ukrainian people have put up with this for months.”

Since the Russian invasion began in February 2022, the whole of life in Ukraine has been affected, including the health care system. Hospitals have been destroyed, damaged, medical facilities looted, and landmines have been found in Ukrainian hospitals briefly occupied by Russian forces, according to the humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders. People living in occupied areas were denied access to essential medicines and treatments, the charity said.

Millions of people have been displaced from eastern Ukraine during the war, and the war is increasingly straining the country’s ongoing medical infrastructure. Surgeons are trained on patients Continue the process Clark says as the air raid sirens start. Ambulances loaded with people were dug out of mud and snow after getting stuck.

Among the ongoing disruptions of the war has been the prevention of care for the critically ill, including soldiers wounded on the front lines. Palliative care in the NHS Dr Clarke said patients and their carers needed more support. One of the hospitals she visited was a three-story building that cared for up to 30 patients, who were stuck in a stairwell with no elevator capacity. Similar scenes were repeated in hospitals across the country. A patient with pneumonia who can’t afford to donate to the hospital is knitting socks for the doctors and nurses who care for her, Clark said.

Larger supplies of morphine and pressure-relieving mattresses are two “low-tech interventions” that could help support people, she said. Clarke and neurosurgeon Henry Marsh have now set up a new charity, Hospice Ukraine, to provide additional training for staff and support additional supplies. It works with “trusted local partners” to improve care, Clark says. Its purpose is to provide some relief to those who endure the deadly effects of war. “Health care in Ukraine is being deliberately used as a weapon of war,” Clarke said when the charity started. “If you hurt a doctor, you’re hurting everyone else the doctor treats.”





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