Kraków student creates website to connect Ukrainian refugees with doctors giving free consultations and advice
A Kraków IT student has created an online platform to help Ukrainian refugees connect with Polish doctors who are offering free consultations and advice to help them.
The website, called ‘Lekarze dla Ukrainy’ (Doctors for Ukraine) and available in Ukrainian, Polish and English, allows Ukrainian refugees to search for medical specialists across Poland and for Polish doctors to list their free services.
In addition, with the support of the Polish Medical Council, the platform is offering help in medical document translation by connecting refugees with volunteer translators.
Set up two weeks ago, the platform currently features the profiles of over 100 doctors in 55 towns and cities all over Poland, with more being added every day.
The website has so far had over 15,000 visitors at an average rate of over 1,000 visitors per day.
Created by Witold Wydmański, an IT Master’s student and researcher from the Małopolska Centre of Biotechnology at the Jagiellonian University of Kraków, the platform came to life after Wydmański’s father, an oncology doctor, wanted to help Ukrainian refugees by offering free medical consultations and posted his offer on social media.
Speaking to TFN, Wydmański said: “My father put up a post on social media offering medical consultations for free to Ukrainian refugees and several of his friends, also doctors, wanted to join him by doing the same.
But their offers had a limited ability to reach the people needing the help, so I decided it would be a good idea to create a website and compile their offers together in one place”.
After finding other doctors on social media wanting to offer their services for free, Wydmański began contacting them and telling them about the website where they could post their profile and reach those needing help.
He continued: “We try to promote the initiative by word of mouth, on social media in dedicated refugee help groups and through the media so as many people as possible who need it, know about it.
“New doctors are joining all the time and we try to verify all of them before adding them to the platform. The demand for help with medical advice and treatment is also growing”.
According to an official tweet by the Polish Border Guard on the morning of the 16th of March, 1.89 million people have crossed the Polish-Ukrainian border since the 24th of February.
Wydmański said: “It is hard to know how many people have already been helped by the platform, but in the case of my father, I know of three Ukrainian refugees, oncology patients, who he was able to help to access treatment in Poland after they found him through the platform”.
In addition to face-to-face consultations, the website is collaborating with company TrusteDoctor, who have shared their online infrastructure with the platform in order to enable free video consultations.
To find out more about the Doctors for Ukraine platform visit Lekarze dla Ukrainy - darmowa pomoc medyczna dla osób uchodźczych.