15/03/2009 – Most hospitals in Ukraine which are not privately run do not give the appearance of being hygienic. In fact, from the outside they resemble buildings damaged during the Blitz. The inside, common areas, such as corridors and waiting rooms have the cleanliness and appearance of Hitler’s Bunker in Berlin in 1945…….and feel about as welcoming too! Do not be unnecessarily dismayed by what you see. This does not translate in any way to the treatment rooms or abilities of the Doctors you will see. Obviously, some Doctors are better than others…..as is the case anywhere in the world, but in general, all the Doctors are pretty good. The treatment rooms are hygienic as are the instruments used. Most of the drugs used are internationally recognised and produced by the likes if GSK etc etc………although they may be marketed under a different brand (not manufacturer) name here occasionally. A lot of the medical terminology is the same or so similar to English (due to most medical terms being Latin based) that you will recognise them, despite many Doctors not speaking English. Of course, there are internationally recognised “noises” for pain………like OUCH, ARRRRGH, YAWWWWW which need no translation. In every hospital, any medication used, needles syringes etc etc. you must buy from an Apteka (Pharmacy/Chemist) either on the premises or next to the hospital. This is not the USA – prices are exceptionally cheap……..I will give an example later in this blog. All in all, the State run hospitals, despite giving the look of “if you go in, you won’t come out again”….are not too bad at all. “So which hospital do you use in Odessa?” is the question I know you are all asking. I use a privately run hospital called Into-Sana. www.into-sana.com If you look to the top-right of the first page of their website you will see a red “EN” – click it and it will display their website in English. At this hospital, you can buy cover for you and/or your family for an annual fee……..or as many people do, just go and pay at reception for the treatment you receive on a “pay as you go” system. The medical services here are comprehensive (as you will see from their website) and hygiene is very very good. You cannot even walk into reception without boots protective coverings on your shoes to stop you bringing in dirt!!! I mentioned prices and Into-Sana is more expensive than the State run hospitals obviously……..since when has the private sector not been there to make money after all. I will say again though, this is not the USA and it does not cost you $500 just to walk into reception. To give you an example, last year, the end of my right thumb was cut off (about half way down the nail) during an incident at work. Into-Sana sowed it back on for $80.00 and I had 3 follow up visits for cleaning, testing of nerves etc etc at $80.00 a time. The whole cost was $320.00 to save my right thumb…….including all medication. I took a friend there (American) who had a cyst on his neck which had to be drained on two occasions. Total cost $120.00 including medication. He stated (for you US citizens out there cringing at the though of the State hospitals), that Into-Sana was better than most facilities in the US he had used……………..and far faster and cheaper. Another major “plus point” for those with no Russian language skills at all, is that amongst the Doctors and nurses at Into-Sana, there is a reasonable chance that you will get an English speaker, just by “pot luck” when you get treated. Obviously, they will do their very best to make sure an English speaker is available to you during treatment if you have absolutely no Russian ability at all. I would, at this point, mention that if you are still capable of speech when getting put into an ambulance in Odessa, and Into-Sana is where you want to go……..say “Into-Sana” and the ambulance will take you there instead of a State hospital. I cannot recommend this hospital highly enough to foreigners for a myriad of reasons…….like, hygiene, speed, professionalism, language, reliability, comfort and reassurance…….and they give receipts for your expenses in case you need to claim back from your insurance cover. Like I say, the State hospitals are not bad at all, but unless you are literally on your death-bed, for somewhere which would equal or surpass hospitals in your own country, Into-Sana is the place to head for in Odessa. The Russian word for “pain” is pronounced “bol“………or if you are adventurous enough to try Ukrainian whilst in suffering, the Ukrainian word for pain is “bil“. So in effect, you can point to what hurts and say “bol” or “bil” and the Doctor will know where to start…………..if it is not immediately obvious of course!
Hospitals in Odessa
April 23, 2011 by Leave a Comment