Post release #13

Nearly 540 days Ukraine has been  fighting against Russian aggression. For some people abroad mentioning Ukraine  became a routine and sometimes causes fatigue but we are trying to live, work, save people, and study under these circumstances and would like to share with you our achievements because you helped and are still helping us. We were, are, and will be grateful to you for your assistance!

1. Equipping the clinic with new devices 

  1. a) The staff of “Interfamily” is gaining experience in handling numerous pieces of equipment available in the clinic. Plus, to the wonderful portable small ultrasound device (“Butterfly”) presented to us by Mark Rampton and Corvallis Sister Cities Association in Oregon, USA helped provide the Butterfly, recently our Czech friends (MARKÉTA S. DYRHONOVÁ and TOMÁŠ JEDLIČKA and Aura company) presented one more stationary ultrasound device with two transducers for a vaginal and rectal pelvic examination. Now these two wonderful devices will help our staff to train on them and further develop our medical service. 
  2. b) Thanks to the charity action on dermatology on the streets of Uzhhorod we received a new dermatoscope which will help us in skin diseases diagnostics.

2. Financial perfecting of the Clinic’s work

As we informed you earlier, since June we stopped receiving financial assistance from “The Doctors without Frontiers” who have switched their interest to the “hot” parts of Ukraine. To optimize our expenditures, we had to reorganize the work of the Clinic:

  • We have reduced the duration of the work  to 7 hours a day
  • We do not work on weekends any longer
  • Family doctors continue providing medical service for IDPs free of charge.
  • The service of specialist’s doctors is no longer free but it will cost our IDP patients and low- income groups of Uzhhorod  only 50% of the real price. The citizens of Uzhhorod pay 100%. We were pleasantly surprised that none of the above reforms in any way influenced patients’ attendance at the “Interfamily” Clinic, what is more, the above actions have compensated 50% of our expenditures.
  • Optimization of the staff’s work payment.  In order to build а team of like-minded people, from the beginning of our work we paid moderate volunteer scholarships from international donations for every resident who worked for the Clinic.  After 10 months of the Clinic’s work, we have selected the best 2 among 2nd year residents who worked with us all year round and proposed to them a stable good salary (by  Ukrainian standards) during the second-year residency as long as they work full- time as clinic assistants. We were pleased that the rest of the 1st year residents agreed to continue working with us during their clinical rotations free of charge which proved their gratuitous interest in their further internship with us.
  • We continue receiving capitation funds from the National Health Service and doing our best in increasing the  number of assigned patients from IDPS and Uzhhorod citizens.
  • Our specialist’s service is becoming more popular and permanently increasing the clinic’s income.

All above helped us to reduce our expenditures to a minimum last month and limit our expenses from the accumulated international donations practically intact. 

3. New services and trainings  

Psychological help for victims of war.

The longer the war goes on, the more urgent the problems of mental health disorders become. The problem concerns both civilians and wounded and traumatized Ukrainian soldiers.  Psychosomatic diseases come out on top. 

Thank God we have enough antidepressants in stock because they are getting more and more popular among our patients but we had neither enough specialists, nor time or knowledge for treating these disorders. Before we used to invite psychologists of the team “Proliska” to conduct  multidisciplinary help to our psychosomatic patients. 

The National Health Service of Ukraine (NHSU) signs contracts with the health care institutions of Ukraine and purchases services in different fields of medical care (including psychological assistance) provided that the clinic like “Interfamily” has enough trained doctors, specialized nurses, an established number of assigned patients. We have over 900 assigned patients (of 3000 needed to be financially independent). Thus, NHSU is ready to purchase primary medical care as well as the psychological service for us when we have a trained staff.

 We have selected several of our specialists that were previously trained as trainers and later worked as trainers of our regional medical staff for a year in the prevention of COVID- 19. Now these 3 young doctors passed an offline training course on psychosomatic diseases provided by UNICEF in Kyiv. Upon completion of this training, they were certified as trainers which gives them the right to train medical staff on psychosomatic diseases and conduct similar pieces of training in the future for the doctors of outpatient clinics in Transcarpathia.  It is beneficial for us because first, our population will get high- quality psychological care, secondly, the national payment for the provided services will go directly to the Clinic and  thirdly, the trained specialists will work with us and share their knowledge with other specialists.  

  • Rehabilitation 

Given the increase in the number of war victims and wounded soldiers, the need for psychological and physical rehabilitation has increased. Our specialists, who have been trained in Kyiv, will be engaged in psychological and physical rehabilitation. We have created a rehabilitation hall on the basis of the department. In the future, here we plan to start the  training of the specialists in psychological and physical rehabilitation on the basis of “Interfamily”. We need more international experts to provide training in these fields.

  • EUSIT exchange (Europe Ukraine Support in Teaching) project

As it was started before, our colleges from EURACT and EGPRN provided teaching an offline way now we started the new wave of training our clinic specialists being supported by our  true colleges  (POCUS from Slovenia, in family medicine from Switzerland). And vice versa – to be trained by  foreign experts in Uzhhorod. In the near future we are planning to have hands- on trainings with the Check specialists in POCUS, in family medicine practical skills with Dr. Rampton from the USA, and  in traumatology fields with the specialists from Portugal, in actual topics of family medicine with  team from the USA.   

4. Searching the ways to attract  more assigned patients (and national capitation). 

-Due to a  more loyal attitude and prepared by us well equipped medical premises, the administration of the University proposed  “Interfamily” to take over the free medical service of all the students. This is all the more logical, given that the Clinic is surrounded by dormitories with a population of more than 1500 people, including students and IDPs. For us it will be additional 1500 potential assigned patients.  

-Together with Uzhhorod team of Corvallis Sister Cities Association we have delivered various medical services for children and their parents’ hub “SOS Children’s’ Cities”. As our team figured out , both IDP adults and children here had never had medical service. As a result, It gave us 30 more assigned patients after this action provided in the hub.

We are looking forward to conducting such actions to increase people’s awareness in family medical care at our clinic and by this to increase the  number of assigned patients. 

5.Promotion of “Interfamily”       

More than 11 months of its existence made “Interfamily” Clinic recognizable in Uzhhorod. Nevertheless, we understand that the clinic needs further promotion. Recently we hired a professional journalist who writes posts about the Clinic every day on our website, Instagram, and Facebook. My younger daughter Jana (12 y.o. school student) became a volunteer reporter for the Tic-Toc media (“Interfamily clinic from the child’s point of view”).  As a result, the number of the Clinic’s subscribers for two weeks have increased 4 times. It has also increased the number of people who visit our promotions on the streets of Uzhhhorod. Now most often we use targeted advertising.

We established a new board of honor at the clinic waiting room where all our sponsors’ names are written on the memorable Golden Pages of Gratitude. We will always remember what you have  done for us, our dear friends!