Ukraine, Poland to set up large military medical hub

Ukraine, Poland to set up large military medical hub

Kyiv and Warsaw are working on creating a large military medical hub to exchange experience and provide practical assistance, which is important in wartime conditions.

That’s according to the Director of the Military Medical Institute in Warsaw, General Grzegorz Gielerak, who spoke with an Ukrinform correspondent.

The decision to set up a large-scale hub in the military medical field was made during a meeting of Ukrainian and Polish military officials, including heads of medical departments in both armies, which took place in Kyiv this May. He noted that the schedule and plan for mutual cooperation was determined at that meeting.

Gielerak said the cooperation, on the one hand, will be based on obtaining and analyzing information related to the nature, type, and scale of sanitary losses amid the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Read also: Poland to help Ukraine increase grain transit, special corridors being prepared - Duda

"On the other hand, we will provide access to our knowledge and capabilities, which we have thanks to the implementation of a number of research projects concerning, for example, autonomous platforms for the evacuation of the wounded, methods of treating various types of wounds on the battlefield, including burns. We are ready to cooperate so that, based on Ukrainian and Polish experience and opportunities, in the next three to five years, we will together create a large hub of the military medical service," emphasized the official.

According to him, the implementation of the project from the Polish side is at the stage of consideration by the Ministry of National Defense.

"We expect that in the next few weeks, we will move to the implementation phase," the general stated.

Gielerak said that Poland is ready to provide medical assistance to Ukraine in several dimensions.

"First of all, we want to treat wounded Ukrainian soldiers, especially in the fields of health care, which are complicated for Ukraine now. For example, maxillofacial surgery is a significant challenge for you today. In parallel lines with the treatment of the Ukrainian military, we want to train your personnel so that you become autonomous in this field," the senior military medic stressed.

Read also: U.S. doctors conduct training in Lviv on emergency care for war victims

The Polish general emphasized that, based on the study of the experience of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in Polish soldiers previously deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan, the knowledge that Polish doctors have in this field is at the highest level. Therefore, Polish medics have been sharing their experience in this regard with their Ukrainian colleagues since 2014 and are ready to do so in the future. He noted that since 2014, about 10 groups of Ukrainian doctors have been trained at the Military Medical Institute in Warsaw on the issue of countering PTSD. In addition, training sessions with the participation of Polish specialists also took place in Ukraine, in particular in Rivne.

Gielerak emphasized that for Poland, the medical side of the experience from the war in Ukraine became a "Copernican revolution" (radical change of views - ed.) and prompted serious changes.

"For us, knowledge of the war in Ukraine is like a Copernican revolution. We are radically changing our approach to what medical provision should look like amid hostilities," the Polish medic emphasized.

In particular, he specified that the issue of the type of medical care that should be provided to wounded soldiers at different stages needs to be deeply reviewed.

"These are no longer systems aimed not at evacuating the wounded for hours, but at providing assistance near the front line, guaranteeing qualified medical care as soon as possible. For us, this is a completely new experience, in particular, how to prepare medical aid points, taking into account the Ukrainian experience that these points are often the targets of Russian attacks," stated Gielerak.

Warsaw realizes that in the event of potential aggression, Poland could also face the same challenges, the general admitted, and therefore, using the Ukrainian experience, Poland seeks to upgrade its own doctrine.

As reported earlier, since the outset of Russia’s full-scale invasion, Poland has provided Ukraine with military aid worth nearly $3 billion. Poland accepts wounded Ukrainian soldiers for treatment, and a medical hub was deployed at Jasionka airport near Rzeszów last year, through which wounded Ukrainian soldiers and civilians were airlifted to other countries for further treatment.

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