For the first time in 40 years, Myrnohrad city hospital is undergoing major repairs. The therapeutic unit has been already winterized, a modern X-ray machine has been installed, repairs of a surgery unit will finish soon. The city also plans to renovate housing for internally displaced people and a social center. The European Investment Bank finances these and hundreds of other projects in the east of Ukraine under the Early Recovery Programme.
Myrnohrad (formerly Dimitrov), a town in western Donetsk Oblast has always required heightened attention, especially when the healthcare sector was concerned. For this area contains a lot of industrial enterprises and coal mines. Therefore, healthcare was in the focus of attention. Back in its time, Myrnohrad Central Hospital was almost as large and as well-equipped as the central regional hospital (named after Kalinin).
With the outbreak of armed conflict in the Donbas, the situation became even more serious. Almost 20 thousand IDPs flocked to the city already crowded with military personnel. That meant the increasing workload upon the local hospital.
The Chief Physician of Myrnohrad’s Central City Hospital (CCH) Roxana Khokhlova realized the magnitude of the problem like nobody else. Roxana Ihorivna has long been known in the region as a highly-skilled professional, a good administrator and a person with enviable organizational capabilities. The city’s mayor Ruslan Trebushky and his successor to the office Oleksandr Brykalov were also well aware that the city’s principal medical institution needs modernization and renovation.
Therefore, back in 2014 when tensions ran extremely high, these public officials, having secured the European Union’s support, have designed a large project for Myrnohrad CCH. The goal was to make it a modern medical institution and raise quality standards for services provided to patients. The transformation became possible thanks to the Ukrainian government’s cooperation with European donors and the loans provided to finance modernization of infrastructure. The work on restoring Myrnohrad’s social infrastructure and procuring equipment is financed with a loan from the European Investment Bank disbursed under the Early Recovery Program for Ukraine.
“Our hospital is one of the largest in the region. During the conflict here, in the East, a lot of IDPs and military servicemen were brought to us. It was felt especially acutely in 2014. But we know that besides a large number of patients and besides the increasing workload, we now also have a huge responsibility and a great opportunity to help people”, Roxana Khokhlova says.
One of the main phases of this important project, the opening of a new X-ray examination office, has recently been completed. The facility underwent a major renovation, financed by the European Investment Bank. The Kyiv-based company Medgarant has delivered and launched an advanced Italian-manufactured X-ray machine capable of performing many various types of X-ray diagnostics. The total cost of this modernization amounted to 7,686 thousand hryvnias.
“The wait was long, as the project was launched three years ago. Our hospital has four X-ray machines, but they are old. So, when we knew that we are going to have new equipment this year, everyone felt spirited by this news. Today, a quality X-ray image is an additional diagnostic procedure a patient is assigned to. And if an image reveals all the necessary indicators, that really helps expedite the process: diagnosis, prescription of treatment and, most importantly, recovery of a patient”.
The importance of modernization is corroborated by the fact that the hospital serves over 1000 patients simultaneously or 11 thousand patients per year. The hospital’s specialized departments offer help to patients from nearby towns where the treatment provided in Myrnohrad is unavailable. These are urology, ENT, traumatology and a number of other departments.
According to Chief Physician Roxana Khokhlova, traumatology department experiences the biggest workload due to the region’s specifics: armed conflict and coal mines where the risk of sustaining occupational injuries is constantly present. The new X-ray machine stands in the surgery department, but will be available to all patients of the hospital.
“We are confident that we’ll now make a breakthrough in the quality of diagnostic procedures. The equipment we had before was constantly malfunctioning, producing results of the quality below today’s requirements. Still, we have to give it credit: it served us faithfully and loyally since the 1970s-80s, although today, it became obsolete by every standard”, Roxana Khokhlova says.
According to the Chief Physician, no additional personnel or retraining would be required to work with the new equipment. All medical personnel regularly take skill improvement courses, and they are ready any time to start working according to the latest requirements. Moreover, equipment suppliers always organize additional training for local specialists.
All these changes are only a portion of the number of large-scale CCH reconstruction projects. Thermal insulation has already been installed in the hospital’s therapy building. Simultaneously, the surgery building underwent a major renovation and received new equipment. The NEFCO project featuring thermal modernization of the hospital’s buildings is nearing the completion as well.
“As the Head of European Investment Bank Office in Ukraine Jean-Eric de Zagon assured us, they will continue supporting our projects. Therefore, our large and ambitious goal – finishing renovation and modernization of the entire surgery building in the nearest future – has all chances to go through”, Roxana Ihorivna says. “In addition, we have another upcoming large project, this time supported by the Donetsk Oblast administration: opening a hemodialysis department. After Donetsk was occupied, this became a huge problem. A large department has recently been opened in Kramatorsk, but it cannot cope with the influx of patients, and therefore, it urgently needs to be relieved by opening other regional departments. We hope to take up a portion of that workload. So, we and our patients are truly grateful to our European partners, and hope that the projects we’re continuing to implement and the ones we’re only preparing for launch will receive support”.
Besides reconstruction of CCH, the European Investment Bank implements other important projects in Myrnohrad, including renovation of a social security center and two dormitories for IDPs. In total, the European Investment Bank provided 200 million euros in financing to social infrastructure projects in Eastern Ukraine.
By Dmytro Lukianenko
Source – Ostro.org