News from the Department of Pharmacy

New study to help Ukrainian refugees in need of healthcare


In an ongoing survey study, Ukrainian refugees' experiences of seeking and receiving medical care in Europe are mapped. "Now we need the public's help to spread the survey via social media. It's a small effort that will make a big difference for people in need," says Nataliia Khanyk, Visiting researcher at the Department of Pharmacy.

Please Repost: Survey on Ukrainian refugees' experience of seeking care in the EU
Please Repost: Survey on Ukrainian refugees' experience of seeking care in the EU

At this moment, many millions of people from Ukraine are on the run in Europe, tens of thousands of whom are seeking refuge in Sweden. Only days after Russia's invasion, the EU activated the Temporary Protection Directive, which among other things gives the right to medical assistance. But what does the reality look like for people in need of healthcare in the country they are staying in?

“In an ongoing survey study, we are mapping the Ukrainian refugees' experiences of seeking and receiving medical care in EU countries. We identify the challenges they face with both urgent and non-urgent needs, as well as access to prescription drugs. In the long term, our goal is to provide recommendations that will give guidance to both refugees and healthcare organisations,” says Nataliia Khanyk, Associate professor at Danylo Halytsky Lviv National Medical University and Visiting researcher at Uppsala University.

The survey is available online, completely anonymous and takes about 5-7 minutes to answer. The questions cover a range of aspects of care and its accessibility: In which languages is information offered? What queue times and fees apply? And what are the experiences at various care departments? The survey includes both set and open answer options.

Nataliia Khanyk, Faculty of Pharmacy
Nataliia Khanyk, Faculty of Pharmacy

“This project is a collaboration between researchers in five European countries, including Ukraine, and we have high hopes that our initiative will make a real difference. Our main challenge is to reach out with the survey to every Ukrainian refugee in Europe – and here everyone who wants to help people in need has the opportunity to assist by spreading the survey further via their social media (Share on X/Twitter • LinkedIn • Facebook). It is a small but extremely valuable contribution,” says Nataliia Khanyk.

The study is conducted within the framework of COST ENABLE, a European network uniting researchers, clinicians and industry partners in 39 countries with funding from EU's Horizon 2020 program. Among the driving forces is Björn Wettermark, Professor of Pharmaceutical epidemiology at Uppsala University, and leader of the network's Science Communication Group.

“COST ENABLE has since 2020 worked to identify and spread knowledge about effective methods for increased medication adherence. Today, we are a well-established organisation with branches in all EU countries, and faced with the exceptional situation that prevails, we see that our collective competence can play an important role in the work to improve the conditions facing the people fleeing the war in Ukraine,” notes Björn Wettermark.



  • The project is conducted in collaboration between researchers in Poland, Sweden, Hungary, Turkey, and Ukraine, all of whom are members of COST ENABLE.
  • In March 2022, the EU activated the Mass Refugee Directive, also known as the Temporary Protection Directive.
  • The directive is part of an EU system for emergency situations that is used in exceptional circumstances with a massive influx of people.
  • The rights included in the temporary protection system include residence permits, access to the labor market and housing, medical assistance and access to school for children.


Nataliia Khanyk, gästforskareNataliia Khanyk, Visiting researcher
Uppsala University

text: Magnus Alsne, photo: private, Pexels

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Last modified: 2023-09-12