The Ukrainian healthcare system



I’m your Ukrainian Dating blogger Katrina and today let’s discuss The Ukrainian healthcare system.

Make sure you are healthy before your travel to Ukraine!

Having a health problem can happen when you least expect it. I recommend you ensure you have valid healthcare coverage or insurance for your time in Ukraine. This section provides information on Ukraine’s health system, doctors, hospitals and medical treatment. Things may not work the same way as at home – get informed in case you get ill or have an accident.

The Ukrainian healthcare system: how it works in Ukraine?

Ukraine is in the process of reforming its healthcare system. It has been plagued by deficient service and poor quality. However, new government reforms are in place to try to make some progress.

Since 1991 there have been no significant improvements to the Ukrainian healthcare system. Its biggest problem has been severe lack of funding.

Healthcare in Ukraine is universal and free, but only in theory. With such poor quality, many Ukrainians have resorted to paying under the counter bribes to get necessary treatment.

Recent government reforms, such as an increase in funding and measures to increase efficiency, have begun to address the ongoing problems in the healthcare sector.

Ukraine shares the health risks of any European country a.k.a. no preventative measures are necessary. No vaccinations are required but when traveling through Ukraine, always be cautious of food sold outdoors. Remember to wash fruits and vegetables and try to keep your hands clean.

Since no water filtering systems are used in Ukraine, it’s better to avoid the tap water. While the quality of water can vary, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Bottled mineral water is widely available and affordable. If bottled water is not an option, be sure to boil the water before consumption. In some apartments and hotels the tap water is safe, as water filtering systems have been installed.

Before going overseas make sure that all of your vaccinations are up to date and you have sufficient amounts of any prescription medication you may be taking.

Information on vaccinations and other health precautions (safe food and water measures, insect bite protection) can be found on the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention’s hotline for international travelers.

Avoid using policlinics and go to a private clinic if you come down with something serious. You will pay more but you will receive better treatment.

Allergies and seasonal illnesses

During the summers, some Ukrainian cities are overrun by fuzz. This cotton-like substance from poplar trees can badly irritate those with allergies. Cities are now getting rid of many but nonetheless, it can still look like a snowstorm in July.

Winters in Ukraine mean short days with very little sunlight. Use exercise and vitamins to fight colds. With as big a country as Ukraine, it is normal that the climate varies. Winters can be mild or severe. Summer could be rainy or hot and humid. Be aware of seasonal changes and try to check the weather before your arrival.


How to get medication in Ukraine.There are pharmacies at every corner in each Ukrainian city. Just look for the large green crosses and the word аптека. If you’re planning a visit to Ukraine while you’re taking any medication, it might be easier to bring enough quantities with you.

Finding drugs such as antidepressants and prescription pain killers can be difficult. While most medications do not require a prescription, some will require a local prescription. Shipping restricted prescription drugs is illegal and the pack will be returned to the sender.

If you are taking special medications that are available only by prescription, it is better to visit your doctor before your trip and request a prescription for enough medication to last your entire stay in Ukraine. Be sure to have correct documentation from your doctor if you are taking a large quantity. You will have to prove that the medication is intended for your use.

You should also contact the pharmaceutical manufacturer to learn if the drug is marketed in Ukraine. Ask if they know of an equivalent and if so, its Ukrainian name.


There are a few pharmacies in Ukrainian cities where you can always go in case of emergencies. You should find out their addresses and telephone numbers upon arrival.

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