University Hospital Defies the Crisis

Kharkiv is the second largest city in Ukraine and the country’s leading hub for science and education. Home to more than 40 higher education institutions, the city also has a university hospital with over 400 employees. These include Fatima Abdueva, a 36-year-old cardiologist. In 2015, Fatima participated in the MP to learn more about work practices at medical facilities in Germany and network with German hospitals. Havelhöhe Community Hospital in Berlin proved the ideal partner and she has since not only built up professional relations, but has also developed friendships.

Kharkiv. After completing the MP, it wasn’t long before Fatima Abdueva had a lot on her plate. She was kept very busy preparing a German-Ukrainian seminar on chronic pain that was held in collaboration with a number of German and Ukrainian partners. More than 60 Ukrainian doctors were able to learn about the current state of care for chronic pain sufferers in Germany during the two-day event. The principal lecturer from Germany was Dr. Michael Schenk, the former head of the Havelhöhe Pain Centre. Schenk and Abdueva first met when the cardiologist participated in the MP in Germany. After sharing her plans for the treatment of pain sufferers in Ukraine with him, Schenk readily accepted her invitation for him to share his expertise in this field. The first joint event marked the beginning of a long-term education partnership between the two hospitals that was sealed with an official bilateral agreement in 2016. “We are not only partners now though, but also friends,” adds the MP participant. Among those to support the preliminary measures were the Honorary Consulate of the Federal Republic of Germany in Kharkiv, the Hessian medical device manufacturer B. Braun Melsungen AG and the German-Ukrainian medical association Udamed that was established in collaboration with another MP graduate, Anna Novikova. Abdueva subsequently organised a follow-up event for nurses. With more than 100 participants, it also proved extremely popular. As part of another initiative, four doctors from the university hospital travelled to Berlin for one month of training. Later that year, Abdueva helped to set up a pain clinic at the university hospital. “In this form, it is an absolute novelty in the Ukraine,” she says with pride.

The young cardiologist is also responsible for further modernisation of the hospital. While the tense economic situation and fluctuating exchange rate make this extremely difficult, it remains a central concern. “We are taking small steps at the moment. It is important to keep up,” says Abdueva of her approach. After the MP, the hospital increased its equipment budget and acquired minimally-invasive surgical instruments from KARL STORZ GmbH & Co. KG.

For Abdueva, it is not only the measurable business results of the programme that count. The exchange, networking and international cooperation are even more crucial. “The programme helps to open the borders”, she explains.