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Finland prepares to receive patients from Ukraine under EU programme

The evacuation and treatment of patients from Ukraine is part of the EU's joint Civil Protection Mechanism.

File photo of a patient being treated on a ward in the Helsinki and Uusimaa hospital district (HUS). Image: Jyrki Lyytikkä / Yle

Finland will participate in the medical evacuation and treatment of patients from Ukraine as part of the EU's joint Civil Protection Mechanism.

In a press release, the government noted that some patients will require intensive specialist care, while others will need access to primary social and healthcare services as well as psychosocial support.

Decisions on how the patients will be distributed throughout the country will be made in collaboration with regional hospital districts. The Helsinki and Uusimaa hospital district (HUS), Finland's biggest district, has begun initial preparations but no concrete plans have yet been agreed.

However, HUS Chief Medical Officer Markku Mäkijärvi said the district will prepare to cater for patients based on their needs and in line with HUS resources.

The number of Ukrainian patients that a hospital district can take in will depend on capacity, with Mäkijärvi noting that HUS's situation is currently quite good.

Ukrainian patients arriving in Finland under the Civil Protection Mechanism will be entitled to apply for temporary protection status, meaning the Finnish Immigration Service Migri will be responsible for the costs associated with treatment.

Migri will also arrange accommodation for relatives accompanying the patients, as well as people who are subsequently discharged from hospital care.

Some 25,000 Ukrainians have so far applied for temporary protection in Finland since the Russian invasion on 24 February. Finnish authorities estimate that, in general, between 10,000 and 20,000 Ukrainians fleeing the war in their home country are likely to arrive in Finland between the months of May and July, with about 20,000-60,000 predicted to arrive before the end of the year.

EDIT: Headline updated on 19.5.2022 at 8.08pm to reflect that 20,000 people -- patients and their relatives -- are expected to arrive in Finland under the programme, and not just patients.

EDIT: Article updated on 12.5.2022 at 4.55pm to add that 25,000 Ukrainian people have so far applied for temporary protection in Finland.