Most people will be aware that a 'flu pandemic' has been the major focus in Ukraine for the past few weeks. Unfortunately, the virus found its way to me and I must say its the worst case of flu I have ever had. Its approximately four weeks today since I fell ill and I am only just getting back to normal.
Getting sick in Ukraine is a tricky business if you have to enter hospital.
As I tried to battle with the virus for the first week at home, my wife finally called in the doctor and he ordered an ambulance to take me into hospital. I had a very high temperature, my throat was closing up and I was having difficulty speaking.
To my suprise, instead of sending the ambulance to a private clinic, he told them to take me to a specialist public hospital dealing with the virus.
Anyone who has visited or had the unfortunate situation of being a patient in a Ukrainian hospital will know that it is close to a nightmare experience.
I will never again make any criticism about the British national health service.
In a Ukrainian hospital they provide you with NOTHING. OK they provide you with a bed. The mattress looked like it had received blood from many of its previous occupants.
The bathroom and toilet would have been condemned in a western european country. Plus there were no light bulbs in the toilet or bathroom, so I could never see what I was doing.
Luckily, I am covered by health insurance, but felt as if it was not providing me with any benefits.
The hospital doctors informed me that they would only start treating me, when my insurance company had delivered the medicines to the hospital.
When I say the hospital provides you with NOTHING, I am talking about:
No toilet paper, no water or drinks etc. My wife knows the situation too well as she is a Ukrainian and came the next day with a bag of basics including a KETTLE, Cup, 5 liters of water, food etc.
If a foreign person found themselves in the unfortunate situation of having to stay in a Ukrainian hospital and they had no friends or relatives to help them, I shudder to think how they would survive.
After a few days I convinced myself I would be better off at home, so checked myself out of the hospital. Outside the hospital, I witnessed the longest queue of ambulances I have ever seen.
The hospital was becoming over run with patients and it was obvious they could'nt cope with demand.
I went home and confined myself to the security of our own apartment.
I NEVER want to visit a hospital in Ukraine again. But it has helped me to understand how bad the situation is with the Ukraine Health Service. I think a good guide on the economic/social status of a country is provided by the state of its health service. Unfortunately, in Ukraine it is on par with a third world country.