CUF In The News

Prime Minister of Poland Mateusz Morawiecki thanked Canadian and Ukrainian doctors who operate on Ukrainians in Poland

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki last week visited a hospital in the city of Czeladz where severely injured Ukrainian war veterans and civilians are being operated on.

Over the next few weeks, Canadian surgeons, along with their Ukrainian and Polish colleagues, will operate on military veterans and civilians who have suffered injuries to the head, face, nose, eyes and ears. The etiology of the deformities is different, as all injuries were sustained as a result of hostilities, so the wounded required complex plastic surgeries.

The Canadian team, together with Polish and Ukrainian doctors, conducted numerous virtual examinations and provided primary outpatient pre-operative clinical care to more than 45 injured persons.

“I am very grateful to everyone who is working now to save the lives of Ukrainians – people suffering from Russian occupiers and barbaric attacks. I promised President Zelenskyy two days ago when I was in Kyiv that Poland would make its hospitals more accessible to those in need. And I think that Polish doctors are doing everything to save the lives and health of Ukrainians. And I also want to thank the Canadian and Ukrainian doctors who are selflessly working on this,” Prime Minister of Poland Mateusz Morawiecki emphasized, welcoming the team of doctors.

Photo by Anka Wrzesnewskyj

During 10 days of work, more than 40 highly complex surgical operations will be performed. The operations will be aimed at reconstruction of post-traumatic defects and deformities of the face, craniofacial skeleton, upper and lower extremities. All these injuries were received as a result of hostilities.

This is the second mission of Canadian doctors to Poland since the beginning of the full-scale Russian aggression in Ukraine. The first mission took place in September. Both missions involved fifty volunteer doctors, most of whom were plastic surgeons from Canada.

“Since the beginning of the war, we knew that we had to do everything to ensure that our missions were a help for our Ukrainian doctors who work 24 hours a day. This is our second mission in Poland, and we can truly say that it is the largest and most effective, and has four surgical areas. The whole team puts all its strength and soul to change the lives of our heroes and people who suffered from Russian aggression”, – comments the head of the mission, head of the cranial trauma program at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, professor of plastic surgery at the University of Toronto Oleh Antonyshyn.

“It is a great honor for me to be here with the Mission team for the second time in a row – the work of these volunteer surgeons, nurses and all medical staff is extremely important – they operate on extremely complex injuries and give Ukrainians a chance to return to normal life. I am grateful to the Prime Minister of Poland, Mateusz Morawiecki, for his unwavering support of the Canadian-Ukrainian Surgical Mission team and patients from Ukraine. I am sincerely grateful to the staff of the Powiatowy Zespół Zakładów Opieki Zdrowotnej Hospital for the operating rooms and all their help,” commented Orest Skliarenko, President of the Canada-Ukraine Foundation.

The Canada-Ukraine Surgical Mission was launched in 2014 as a joint project of the Canada-Ukraine Foundation and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.

Between 2014 and 2019, 8 missions were conducted in three cities – Kyiv, Odesa and Lviv. During these missions, 548 patients were consulted and 230 were operated on.

Thanks to the donors of Canada-Ukraine Foundation, more than $1.5 million worth of equipment and surgical materials for the treatment of Ukrainians were donated. Volunteers also provided storage space, physical and financial support, which allowed the team to transport more than 14,000 tons of medical supplies and equipment.

Canada-Ukraine Foundation (CUF) was established in 1995 to coordinate, develop, organize and deliver assistance projects generated by Canadians and directed to Ukraine and to the Ukrainian diaspora in Canada.