Medical Workers’ Day in Ukraine Date in the current year: July 27, 2024

Medical Workers’ Day in Ukraine Medical Workers’ Day, also known as Health Workers’ Day or Healthcare Workers’ Day, is observed in Ukraine annually on July 27. It is the professional holiday of all Ukrainian doctors, nurses, lab assistants, assistive personnel, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals.

For the first two and a half decades of Ukraine’s independence, the country’s healthcare system was based on and modeled after the Soviet healthcare system. While the Soviet system did have its benefits like free healthcare for all citizens, many of its aspects were outdated and needed reform.

The healthcare reform in Ukraine began in 2016. It was spearheaded by Ukrainian-American physician, Euromaidan activist and philanthropist Ulana Suprun who was appointed as the acting Minister of Healthcare of Ukraine in 2015. The reform included the creation of a network of family physicians and the implementation of the e-Health electronic healthcare system, which brings together state-funded health facilities, patients, physicians, drugstores, and pharmacists.

However, regardless of how a healthcare system is organized, medical professionals are its backbone. Without doctors, nurses, dentists, midwives, psychologists, pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, optometrists, physical therapists, allied health professionals, healthcare administrators, and other people who directly provide healthcare treatment or assist those who do it, even an extremely well thought out and organized healthcare system wouldn’t function properly.

As of January 2023, there were more than 320,000 doctors, nurses and other medical workers (not including pharmacists and pharmacy assistants) registered in Ukraine’s Electronic Healthcare System. The real number is probably higher because some privately owned medical facilities have not signed up for the Electronic Healthcare System yet. All these professionals work hard to ensure that people living in Ukraine get proper medical care.

The history of Ukrainian Medical Workers’ Day dates back to the Soviet era. In 1988, the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union established Medical Worker Day to be celebrated the third Sunday of June. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, a number of former Soviet republics continued to celebrate the holiday on this date. Among them were Russia and Ukraine.

However, the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine urged the latter country to completely cut ties with its Soviet past and with Russia. In June 2023, President Volodymyr Zelensky signed a decree moving the date of Medical Workers’ Day to July 27 so that it would no longer coincide with Medical Workers’ Day in Russia.

According to the decree, the main goal of Medical Workers’ Day is to highlight the importance of the national healthcare system and celebrate the hard work of healthcare professionals and their dedication to providing medical care, preserving health and saving human lives. Like all professional holidays in Ukraine, it is a working day unless it falls on a weekend.

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Medical Workers’ Day in Ukraine, Health Workers’ Day, Healthcare Workers’ Day, professional days, holidays in Ukraine