Refugees from Ukraine to receive funding for purchases of medicine

Wojciech Olkuśnik/PAP

A new programme will grant funds to 100,000 refugees from Ukraine for buying medicine in pharmacies across Poland.

The programme is the result of collaboration between Pelion, one of the largest firms operating on the Polish healthcare sector, and Direct Relief, a charitable organisation.

Jacek Szwajcowski, the president of Pelion, said that approximately four million refugees from Ukraine had left their country over the past two months.

As such, "the scale of need is enormous because, sooner or later, most of these refugees will want to seek medical advice and to get their prescriptions," he said at a press conference on Friday.

"Especially since most of these people are women with children, or elderly people who have greater medical needs."

Szwajcowski pointed out "that is why the idea came about to help these people, who are located in many different cities, by including them in one large system."

"We began thinking about Poland and proposed a solution that would allow patients to receive funding that would help them to pay for medicines through our system, created by the Epruf company," he said, adding that it will allow refugees to pay at pharmacies by using a mobile application.

He also added that that the funding would cover many prescription and over-the-counter medicines.

The subsidy will be available to all Ukrainian citizens who came to Poland after February 24, 2022.

"We are currently prepared to provide assistance to 100,000 people," said Szwajcowski. "However, we are still discussing further tranches that will be enough to cover the programme for a larger number of people."

"The total amount of funding is PLN 500 (EUR 108) per person," he said.

He added that Direct Relief had allocated USD 10 million towards the programme. "These funds come from donors from 73 countries around the world," he said.

Ukraine's Ambassador to Poland Andriy Deschytsya, who was also present at the conference, said that he was "impressed by this idea, and how it was implemented so quickly."