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EU member states evacuated 1,000 patients from Ukraine

Published August 05,2022
Ukrainian emergency employees and volunteers carry an injured pregnant woman from a maternity hospital that was damaged by shelling in Mariupol, Ukraine, Wednesday, March 9, 2022. (AP Photo)
The European Union has evacuated 1,000 patients from Ukrainian hospitals as the country's health system comes under increasing strain amid the Russian invasion.

The EU is stepping up operations "to help Ukraine cope with the skyrocketing medical needs," European Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič said in a statement on Friday.

Since March, in the early stages of the Russian invasion, the bloc has coordinated medical transfers for Ukrainian hospital patients to available EU hospitals, the commission statement said.

So far 18 EU member states, including France, Germany, Austria, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Luxembourg and Poland have sheltered the 1,000 patients, according to European Commission data.

In the latest EU medical evacuations, two patients transferred to the Czech Republic, four patients to the Netherlands and 15 patients to Germany, along with two more patients to Norway, the commission said.

The transfers took place via an EU humanitarian support programme and eased "pressure on the health-care systems of Ukraine's neighbouring countries," EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides said.