Israeli medicine a click away — Israeli-Ukrainian Alliance launches Second Opinion Program
The official presentation of the Alliance's new program took place on April 13 during an online conference with Ukrainian Ambassador to Israel Yevhen , IUA CEO Anna Zharova, and representatives of charitable organizations and Israeli medical institutions that joined the program.
“This program is a valuable contribution to expanding cooperation between our countries in the medical field. Ukraine and Israel are already implementing exchange programs for doctors and joining forces to combat the pandemic. Second Opinion is another important and useful initiative for Ukrainians,” Yevhen said when opening the conference.
According to Anna Zharova, Second Opinion (website) should become a single window for all Ukrainian patients seeking advice from leading Israeli doctors on the accuracy of their diagnosis or treatment.
“The second opinion is not only the name of our program, but also a common medical practice when patients and medical institutions turn to outside specialists’ advice in complex or ambiguous cases. Especially when it comes to cancer and other serious diseases, where the cost of error is very high”, said IUA’s CEO.
Vyacheslav Feldman, co-founder of the Israeli Friends of Ukraine NGO, went on to explain how important additional consultation can be for Ukrainian patients: “We have been working since 2014 and more than 25 people injured during the Maidan and in the east of the country have passed through us that Israeli doctors actually put back on their feet. And we often came across patients who came with inaccurate or even incorrect diagnoses.”
Agreeing with him is prof. Serhiy , pediatric oncologist and head of the pediatric oncology department of the Emek Medical Center: “The experience of our clinic's interaction with patients from Ukraine shows that in most cases the diagnosis has been corrected or changed. That's why we always advise patients to seek second opinion if they have the slightest doubt.”
Professor also stressed that not only consultation but also the necessary tests can be performed remotely: “Our center has specialists licensed to export biological material from Ukraine to Israel, so we can do all kinds of diagnostics, including molecular and genetic, to clarify the diagnosis.”
According to Emek Deputy Director Gil Hirschhorn, the center is one of the best medical facilities in the region and has many Russian- and Ukrainian-speaking specialists, which greatly facilitates consultations for patients from Ukraine. However, Emek and other Israeli clinics are always open to cooperation not only with Ukrainian patients but also with Ukrainian doctors. “We will be happy to work more closely with Ukrainian colleagues and are already actively developing internship and exchange programs,” Mr. Hirschhorn.
He also noted that Emek is part of the Clalit Health Services (one of the 4 health funds in Israel), so if the center does not have the necessary specialist, they can always refer to another clinic and send the patient there.
Among them are the Schneider Children's Medical Center and the Tel Aviv Medical Center (Ichilov Hospital), which also joined the Second Opinion Program.
Schneider is Israel’s largest children's hospital. According to Olga Godin, head nurse of Schneider’s International Medicine Department, the clinic works with the most complex diagnoses in most areas ranging from cancer to cardiology and neurosurgery. Schneider also has a pediatric transplant center and the world's only cytogenetics laboratory.
Providing no less high-quality medical services, but for adult patients, Ichilov Hospital. Iryna Stefansky, the center's chief physician, said the facility often has more opportunities for diagnosis and research than Ukrainian hospitals, so they can get more accurate information about the stage and course of the disease.
Responding to questions from participants of the online conference about the prices of second opinion services, Leonid Shulman from said that they may differ significantly depending on the chosen clinic and the specific case, but still remain much more affordable than the cost of coming to Israel for examination.
Regarding the form in which patients receive a second opinion, Mr. Shulman said that usually after consultation and analysis of all provided materials, clinic specialists provide the patient with a treatment protocol with diagnosis, list and dosage of necessary medications, as well as recommendations on time and volume of repeated or additional examinations.
The Second Opinion program is open to all patients from Ukraine. To request a second opinion, simply fill out an application on the website, after which the staff of the Israeli-Ukrainian Alliance will contact you to clarify the details and form a formal request to Israeli clinics.
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