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Dr. Natalia Chemer: Stroke is now a top priority, obstacles remain

Interview with the ESO EAST Country Representative for Ukraine.

What is the main recent achievement in stroke care quality in Ukraine?

Stroke care became one of the priorities of the continuing reforms in public health, which has been run in Ukraine since April 2020. One of the positive results of such development is growing attention to the problem of stroke in Ukraine in general.

The set of criteria for contracting hospitals for the provision of specialized care to patients with acute stroke with budget reimbursement through the National Healthcare Service of Ukraine, newly created governmental institution, were elaborated.

Referral criteria for emergency care, optimal routes and timing were created and widely introduced for the urgent and rational transportation of patients with acute stroke to the nearest appropriate hospital with 24/7 CT facilities.

Furthermore, the rate of reimbursement for public hospitals and clinical institutions which provide acute stroke patients care was recently revised towards increased payments.

Are there any obstacles that you are facing right now?

Firstly, lack of the qualified staff - doctors and nurses, small number of institutions with possibilities for urgent thrombectomy (medical stuff and equipment, both) since current facilities don't meet all needs existing. Another issue is a quality control of such patients management and treatment outcomes, which is still a problem. Stroke awareness in the population is insufficient.

What are your plans for the future?

1. To continue the process of stroke-ready staff education.

2. To carry on evidence based protocols and National stroke guidelines.

3. To support and keep on forming the National stroke registry.

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