Conflict Lightning Talk

We were delighted to have the company of Jakub Dvořáček, the Czech Republic Deputy Minister of Health (Czech Republic) who joined us to talk about conflict and how we can try and Humanise Healthcare even under difficult conditions. 

He reflected on preparedness in relation to the Ukraine war and whether the Czech Republic could have been better prepared for this crisis - and noted the difficulty in predicting the wave of people that may seek refuge in a host country.  

So how did they approach access to health in this crisis? Jakub explained that with respect to healthcare, they took the approach to fully open the healthcare system and services up to refugees in the same way it is available for Czech citizens. He went on to add that whilst they felt that was a good decision - it came with a human resources challenge - of ensuring there were medics and people who could speak the Ukrainian language to deliver services on the same scale as the rest of the country.

In order to address this, he added that patient organisations from all therapeutic areas were consulted. They collaborated in the co-creation and translation of health guides and materials to help with health literacy - allowing refugees to navigate through the healthcare system. Patient organisations also provided the Czech Government counsel on anticipated needs from chronically ill patients coming from Ukraine.

What was also crucial from the start was identifying refugees who were healthcare professionals - amongst the 500,000 Ukrainian refugees they identified more than 1,000 medical professionals. The Czech Government provided language courses and united them with Czech medical professionals to work together in order to provide the best possible care. 

Finally, Jakub touched on an ethical issue that is linked to such a crisis, comparison of care. Specifically, healthcare insurance in the Czech Republic differs from healthcare access in Ukraine. This means that the availability of advanced treatment in areas such as rare disease or oncology is vastly different. Therefore the Czech Government made the decision to provide all possible care including costly, highly innovative therapies to Ukrainian refugees who need it. Furthermore, they are now working with the Ministry of Health of Ukraine to develop a tool for the future which aims to provide Ukraine with the care that is currently being delivered in the Czech Republic. 

The system needs to be built for the needs of the community.” - Jakub Dvořáček
Post-event resources:
Explore the IEEPO Position Paper infographic to delve deeper into the calls to action for Humanising Healthcare!
Utilise the IEEPO Position Paper policy backgrounder to support discussions with political stakeholders!
Visit the IEEPO LEARN Library to find all the post-event resources you need to action change!
Want to learn more? Go to the event overview page to watch the IEEPO 2022 ‘Uniting for Change' session recordings and to find out more.

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