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Which inpatient care services are provided free of charge and what to do if the healthcare providers solicit payment for the services?

Inpatient (hospital) medical care is the healthcare of tertiary (highly specialized) level provided in line with Art. 35-3 of the Law of Ukraine “The fundamentals of the legislature of Ukraine concerning healthcare”. Inpatient medical care is care provided upon hospitalization. This may include medical care requiring or not requiring any surgical interventions.

Hospital care is free for patients in case:

  • there is a referral from a family doctor or an attending physician;
  • a patient is brought to the hospital by emergency care brigade;
  • a hospital patient is referred from another clinical department or health facility;
  • a patient seeks hospital care in an emergency condition.

To receive the service, you need to select a facility contracted by the National Health Service of Ukraine (NHSU).

What you need to consider 

Starting from April 1, 2021, patients who do not need surgical treatment, are delivered care under the package “Inpatient care to adults and children not requiring surgical interventions”. The majority of hospitalizations fall under this package. Under the Program of Medical Guarantees, patients are also entitled to free surgeries performed by health facilities contracted by the NHSU for “Inpatient surgeries.”

Which free services are included in the package of inpatient care not requiring surgery?

Hospitalization under the benefit package of inpatient care does not require surgical interventions, including prevention, diagnostics, treatment (including medication therapy), complicated pregnancy care, and medical rehabilitation in the acute period.

Under this benefit package, patients are entitled to the following free services:

  • initial examination;
  • necessary laboratory tests, including full blood panel, blood chemistry profile, rheumatoid factor and CRP tests, urinalysis, and other laboratory tests, based on the needs of the patient.
  • Performing necessary instrumental tests, such as endoscopy, CT, MRI, X-ray, sonography, and other tests, based on the needs of the patient.
  • Pain relief at all stages of diagnostics and treatment;
  • Medication therapy;
  • 24-h nursing and medical attendance;
  • Medications included in the National list of essential medications.

Which free services are included in the package of inpatient care requiring surgery?

This benefit package includes all the services covered by the package above, plus:

  • Surgical operation with anesthesia;
  • Post-operative patient monitoring, pain relief and further medication therapy.

The full scope of services covered by the inpatient care benefit package is available on the NHSU website. Please select the specification under the relevant benefits package.

How to find out which free services are provided by a certain health facility?

This information is available on the official NHSU website. Patients can access Section “Signed contracts on provision of healthcare services to population” and find out which services are provided by any healthcare facility contracted by NHSU under the Program of Medical Guarantees. The table lists the contracted facilities. You can filter the information using the filter panel on the left, and after selecting the facility, click on the “Service group” title above the table to see the groups of services the facility is contracted by NHSU for.

Conduct of a patient if a healthcare provider solicits payment for hospital care or refuses to provide care.

  • First of all, approach the chief physician of the healthcare facility, preferably with a written report (complaint), demanding to remedy the violation of right to free medical care under the relevant benefit package, referring to availability of public funding received by the healthcare facility for provision of such services. The complaint must be duly registered, with an incoming registration number assigned.
  • If these efforts were not successful, you need to file a written report (complaint) to the municipal or oblast health department complaining about absence of response by the chief physician and demanding to remedy the violation of the right to healthcare. The healthcare department must duly register the complaint and respond to it. In fact, this is usually enough to correct the situation.
  • If the client remains unsatisfied, he/she can approach the National Health Service of Ukraine (NHSU) and submit a complaint using the online form on the NHSU website. 
  • In case any questions regarding filing a complaint arise, call NHSU contact center toll-free at 16-77.
  • If the client remains unsatisfied, he/she can file a complaint to court.