We report and tell the most interesting from the online marathon of panel discussions on the development of medical education in Ukraine.


We discussed the importance of planning and ensuring human resource capacity and creating a quality environment for health professionals in the morning panel discussion “National Priorities for Human Resources Development in Health Care”.


🇺🇦  Video recordings in Ukrainian —> https://youtu.be/EgwXRWneY-Y
🇬🇧  Video recordings in English —> https://youtu.be/V4toVz13-BY

Iryna Mykychak, Deputy Minister of Health of Ukraine, noted: “Human resources in the field of health care are the national heritage of Ukraine. Today, the priority areas of the Ministry’s work are the analysis of human resources and its preservation, assessment of prospects for the development of medical workers and supporting their motivation. We strive for medicine that is focused and friendly to health professionals.”

Prisca Depnering, Deputy Director of the Swiss Cooperation Office in Ukraine, commented: “Today is important to understand how to teach people to be in context and aware. I am glad that the project that is organizing an online marathon of panel discussions really provides health professionals with all the important information. As for strategic planning to ensure the availability of human resources – this is also about creating a quality environment and space that should be attractive to health professionals. “

Caspar Vis, Deputy Director of the Swiss Institute of Tropical Medicine and Public Health (Swiss TPH), said: “Let’s think about what health care models look like today and what they should look like in the future. Many countries are now moving to a more integrated service delivery model. This means that primary health care is already built and actively working at the regional and national levels. On the other hand, it is important to make the role of the nurse meaningful. There is a problem that junior Ukrainian medical staff go to other countries. Therefore, we need to think about a range of important issues: innovative work environments, workforce capacity planning. What will the role of a nurse look like in the future?”.

The second panel discussion “Lessons Learned: Capacity Building of Healthcare Professionals” was organized as a teleconference between the project partners and representatives of educational institutions.

Anastasiia Leukhina, facilitator of the facilitators training of Equal Groups and the course “Humanity and Empathy in the work of a physician “, teacher, author of the book “Not a terrible book”, co-founder of “NGO Horizontals” said: “In my opinion, education in Ukraine and medical education is aimed to give algorithms and teach the correct answers. We have a lot of directive learning instead of interactive cooperation. In medical education, this can be reflected in the construction of directive relationships between physicians and patients. I really want us to bring more humanity, respect and an understanding of a certain equality in the relationship between health professionals and patients. “

At the end of the teleconference, we visited Bukovinian State Medical University and talked about whether the results of project activities at the level of the entire higher education institution are important, useful and noticeable. Together with administration, management, teachers and students we summarized positive and negative achievements and decided our next steps. After all, we make all our decisions together with partner educational institutions.

Continuing professional development of physicians is no less important than undergraduate education and internships. Medical professionals study all their lives.

We believe that educational services should be relevant and easy to use. Together with our partners, we work to ensure that such services are evidence-based and timely. With this purpose Peer Groups operate in Ukraine today – thanks to the facilitators who have been trained by the project. Therefore, today in the third panel discussion “BDP for primary care providers” we talked a lot about the importance of the peer-to-peer format, successes and challenges, as well as the future development of this area.

Renato Galeazzi, a doctor, professor of medicine and member of the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences, said: “Any changes take time. Many countries in the post-Soviet space are now just moving to a peer-to-peer format. Even if you think that such a transition is slow – keep going. Here, of course, it is important that professional associations also take a certain role in organizing BPD activities, because members of professional associations know better than anyone else the current needs of health professionals.”

Iryna Voloshyna, a professor at the Department of Family Medicine of the ZSMU Faculty of Postgraduate Education, a member of the board of the Academy of Family Medicine of Ukraine, the European Association of Primary Cardiovascular Care, commented: “The landscape of medical education has begun to change. Today we need to raise the painful question “What to do to keep medical workers in Ukraine?” In this context, the issue of medical education is important and complex, because it includes not only the aspect of finance. In my opinion, dignity, respect, exchange of experience and development of professional medical communities in close cooperation with partners and teachers of higher education institutions are very important in order to continue to actively develop the model of integrated cooperation.”

Mladen Kachurets, head of educational projects at the Academy of Dobrobut Medical Network, Deputy Minister of Health in 2019, said: “I want to pay attention to the accreditation criteria. In some countries, the concepts of CME (Continuous Medical Education) and CPD (Continuous professional development) are divided, as there is a need to separate criteria for practice-oriented and theory-oriented activities. As accreditation of activities for doctors and nurses is two different accreditations, the criteria must be different. Even accreditation agencies should be different (not the same institution) with the involvement of different experts. And, in fact, the creation of a strong institutionally capable accreditation agency that will be able to integrate and gain mutual recognition from a European or American accreditation agency is the first step for the development of such a direction in Ukraine.”

In the fourth panel discussion we discussed Swiss technical support projects and changes in the health care system.

Petro Ilkiv, Project Coordinator, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), commented: “For the Swiss Confederation, investing in medical education in different countries and regions is one of the priorities. And I can say that for many years we went to such a project, which now has a very concentrated and systematic focus on the development of medical education.”

Martin Raab, project leader and head of the Swiss Center for International Health at the Swiss Institute of Tropical and Public Health, said: “Looking at what Switzerland has been doing for the last 20 years, it is clear that we are focusing on the components of training projects. Now we are talking about the training of managers, because the aspect of management is a necessary element to strengthen the health care system. Therefore, when it comes to the implementation of project support accompanied by various factors, it is important to understand the rationale that accompanies this project and its deployment. It is important to understand that the impetus for change is also external, and this is important so that we can work together with the international community. Medical education is multifaceted. And here we have to ask ourselves and the community the following questions: “Why do we want to change? “Why is it necessary to promote change right now?”


We ended today’s online marathon of panel discussions with a discussion of Humanity and Dignity in Healthcare. A sharp but very necessary topic under discussion. It does cause a lot of controversy between doctors and patients, and doctors have a desire to defend and / or attack. However, this is exactly the topic without which patient-centered medical care is not feasible.

Natalia Lelyukh, an obstetrician-gynecologist and blogger, commented: “Humanity needs communication skills to learn. It is important to understand how much of your own emotional resource you are willing to give to patients without harming yourself or them.”

Gennady Fuzailov, a doctor at Harvard Medical School and a doctor at Massachusetts General Hospital, said: “If humanity is nurtured in a person, the concept of humanity in the medical field encompasses a number of many sectoral components that need continuous development and ongoing support. There is no single recipe for “how to communicate with the patient.”

We understand the importance of this topic and realize that we need to start with the education of future doctors and nurses. That is why 15 medical educators are currently working in the workshop to develop the course “Humanity and Empathy in the Work of a Physician.” And we hope that the course will be included in the curricula of all medical educational institutions of Ukraine.