Kramatorsk, Donetsk Oblast, 26 July 2021 – Today, the European Union and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Ukraine, together with national partners, officially opened two renovated medical call centres in Kramatorsk, Donetsk Oblast, and Sievierodonetsk, Luhansk Oblast.
More than 180,000 residents from Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts will from now on receive medical services more conveniently and efficiently. The call centres offer full patient support, with calls to the health facility being forwarded to coordinators, leaving hospital staff free to focus entirely on patient care.
The equipment for the call centre, worth around U.S. $20,000 (about UAH 540.000), was purchased with the financial support of the European Union under the UN Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme.
Martin Schroeder, acting Head of Cooperation at the EU Delegation to Ukraine, who was present at the opening of the centre in Kramatorsk, spoke of the EU’s commitment to strengthening the health system in Ukraine, and in its eastern regions in particular. He also highlighted the importance of improving health services at all levels and bringing them closer to patients.
“The European Union continues to support the effective functioning of the healthcare system in eastern Ukraine, ensuring that needs of all local residents are addressed,” Schroeder said.
“Together with our partners from the UN Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme and the European Investment Bank, we’ve been piloting new approaches to health service delivery, which is crucial in the times of the COVID-19 pandemic, and renovating medical facilities in Donetsk and Luhansk regions.”
“I’m pleased to inaugurate the two call centres in Kramatorsk and Sievierodonetsk that we helped to establish and equip as part of our joint efforts. Call centres, operated by professional staff as we have seen here today, reduce the administrative burden on hospital personnel and contribute to better patient-oriented service provision.”
UN Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme Manager Victor Munteanu noted that partner medical institutions are continuing to actively develop patient-centred management with the programme’s support, and are implementing effective communications, particularly at the interaction level between health professionals and patients.
"Strengthening the institutional capacity of healthcare facilities, as well as expanding the socially-oriented competencies of staff, is seen as an important element in supporting primary healthcare," Munteanu said. "Call centres will be a valuable platform for communication between healthcare facilities and patients, and will provide better services to communities."
Up to six coordinators work in the call centres and use a specially designed call system, which helps them call back those who could not reach the centre immediately. Medical workers of the Kramatorsk and Sievierodonetsk call centres are provided with ergonomic and modern workplaces. The centres are based at Kramatorsk Primary Healthcare Centre No. 1 and Sievierodonetsk City Multidisciplinary Hospital.
The head of the Kramatorsk Primary Healthcare Centre No. 1, Chief Physician Oleksandr Vlasenko, noted that the call centres had been established to meet the demands of the challenging times and quickly respond to citizens' requests.
"To implement such activities, it’s important to set common standards and values for employees,” Vlasenko said. “These are the communication skills of staff and the use of a patient-centred approach in daily routines. We’re grateful to our international partners from the EU for providing comfortable workplaces for coordinators and supporting the implementation of such approaches."
Thanks to the call centres, patients can be sure that they will have reliable access to medical care. Centre coordinators schedule appointments, make follow-up calls, and remind patients of appointment times. In addition, for effective operations during the pandemic, coordinators have recorded voice messages on COVID-19 and vaccination for the public.
The head of the Sievierodonetsk City Multidisciplinary Hospital, Roman Vodianyk, said that cooperation with the UN Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme would soon improve the quality of hospital care thanks to a new remote counselling service.
The United Nations Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme (UN RPP) is being implemented by four United Nations agencies: the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO).
Twelve international partners support the Programme: the European Union (EU), the European Investment Bank (EIB), the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, and the governments of Canada, Denmark, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden & Switzerland.
Maksym Kytsiuk, Communications Specialist, UN Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme, email@example.com, +380 63 576 1839