Ukrainian doctors continue work in Rēzekne, Latvia

Eleven Ukrainians are currently employed at the Rēzekne Hospital in eastern Latvia. Of those, nine are doctors in a variety of specialties. They study the Latvian language and health system every day, Latgale regional television reported June 13.

Most Ukrainian doctors have just finished the first three-month training phase, passed the Latvian language exam at the A1 level, and continue to learn A2 level.

“Latvian is a tough language, but we learn, learn, learn, learn! The declensions are difficult, the conjugation of verbs plus the present, the past, the future, the different endings, the diacritics! It is difficult, but I believe we will all succeed!” said Andrei Kozlov, an internist at Rēzekne Hospital.

A neurologist from Ukraine, Vladislav Parshukov, said: “If I need to assess quickly and see [for example] a stroke, then I come to the patient at once [and say] I'm sorry, I'm a doctor from Ukraine, I only speak Russian, just a little Latvian.”

The Latvian language courses are organized by Rēzekne Hospital for its own resources. This is essential for Ukrainian nationals to be able to work in the hospital and at the same time to ensure the availability of specialists so needed. For the Ukrainian doctors themselves, overcoming the language barrier makes it easier to integrate into society as well as to fulfill their professional duties.

“Most of them are basic knowledge, namely, so that I can complete a questionnaire - my education, address, place of residence - to tell about my family. As we work with patients, we already have the skills to fill out outpatient cards. Without that, we have nothing,” said Yaroslava Kolikhova, an otolaryngologist from Ukraine.

The Latvian teacher Anita Deksne said that such a passion for learning a foreign and difficult language as for these doctors is not commonly seen.

“They stop and ask what's different between say or tell, watch or see. It's a great pleasure when a foreign person notices the nuances of a language, either in phrasing or in grammar,” Deksne said.

In addition to the Latvian language, doctors from Ukraine have to learn the Latvian medical system, which differs significantly from the Ukrainian system. Although the first steps of health care reform were launched in Ukraine a few years ago, they believe that the medical system in Latvia is more developed.

"Obviously, thanks to the fact that Latvia is in the European Union, you still have higher levels of medicine and access to medicine for ordinary people than in Ukraine. Unfortunately... I hope there will [in the future] be a level of medicine in Ukraine not worse than in Latvia. Equipment is better, process organization is better," said internist Kozlov.

Many of the doctors in Rēzekne's hospital have been working here for a year, but they avoided talking about future plans, indicating that they live for today. 

Seen a mistake?

Select text and press Ctrl+Enter to send a suggested correction to the editor

Select text and press Report a mistake to send a suggested correction to the editor

Related articles


Most important