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Volunteer medics left ATO zone

The army has not taken steps to legalize their work.

The Pirohov First Volunteer Mobile Hospital suspended cooperation with the Armed Forces of Ukraine over the inaction of the top brass to legalize the work of volunteer medics.

"We have a four-sided memorandum, which has been signed by the Minister of Defence, Minister of Health, Chief of General Staff, and your humble servant. The document clearly sets rights and obligations of the parties. One of the obligations of the General Staff and the Ministry of Defense was the legalization of our medics in the east of Ukraine. In the language of means orders on their involvement in the antiterrorist operation," co-founder and head of Pirohov hospital Henadiy Druzenko told a press conference at Gorshenin Institute on 25 July.

However, no progress has been made in this direction over the past few months until the last week.

The head of the volunteer hospital said that as long as this issue is not resolved, his medics pull out from the ATO zone.

Druzenko also insisted that volunteer medics should be eligible for a fighting party status

Alina Naragan, a nurse in the hospital, who in recent months has acted as medical orderly in the 44th brigade, in turn, said that the ATO feels a severe shortage of medics.

"Last year I was the only surgical nurse for the entire sector. Civil nurses do not want to work so close to wounded soldiers," said Narahan.

The nurse has been awarded medals for saving lives and for her assistance to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, but for more than a year could not be officially employed in the ATO.

Druzenko said that on August 1, the new rotation of his hospital will go working in the east of the country, but they will work exclusively in civilian hospitals without providing primary care in the combat zone.

The Pirohov volunteer mobile hospital is a volunteer project in which medics from different cities of Ukraine are working in the ATO zone. The hospital kicked off in December 2014 in the Donbas town of Kurakhovo. Today, medics are helping the military and civilian in the Luhansk region in close proximity to the front line. The project brings together medics who are trained to tactical medical standards.

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