Social Policy Ministry procures health packages in crumbling sanatoria

The Carpathian stars, photo by

The Carpathian stars, photo by

By Hryhoriy Ivanchenko
Many people know that the Social Insurance Fund for Temporary Disability under the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine issues vouchers for the purchase of sanatorium rehabilitation packages for insured persons. The services of such medical facilities include outpatient services in sanatorium-resort treatment for insured persons with the diseases of the blood circulatory system, nervous system and spine, musculoskeletal system, reproductive organs, urological diseases.

Recently, however, there were a lot of complaints about the quality of service and accommodation in the sanatoria that won the aforementioned procurement tenders.

People, who have been regularly treated in the health resorts of Ukraine in recent years, claim that the quality of services, treatment and accommodation in these institutions has deteriorated dramatically. A dozen of quite popular and sought after establishments that have always provided good quality and treatment and sanatorium services have disappeared from the list. Instead, the Fund buys the services in spa institutions that were never intended for the provision of medical procedures. Why? One can only guess.

I was "lucky" to experience the living conditions in one of such health institutions.

To begin with, that the Carpathian Dawn sanatorium located in Drohobych county outside Lviv, earlier used to be an ordinary children's camp.

I know that for people who are going to be treated for the first time, the main source of information are official websites of medical institutions. However, I must point out that many websites that promote living conditions and treatment of some resort destinations provide outright false information. So, the list of offered treatments on the website of resorts and sanatoriums of Ukraine, we can see a wide range of medical services and infrastructure. The real picture is strikingly different. So I insistently recommend calling directly to the resort for more accurate and up-to-date information.



The vast number of procedures in this sanatorium are held in the basement. In the damp, unventilated rooms of the basement you will be offered to enjoy power shower, electrical procedures, mineral wax, massage, maybe something else.


Rooms of the former children's camp, and now the sanatorium Carpathian Dawn are equipped with the furniture that looks like at least thirty-year old. It is quite possible that young pioneers and Komsomol members slept in these beds back in the eighties of the last century. But even such furniture could have been repaired to ensure a more comfortable stay. The sanatorium does not seem to have bothered to do even that.


In many rooms, for some reason, windows would not open, so stale smell of mold is omnipresent. The bathroom and shower booth, in addition to dampness, boasts pronouncedly rusty pipes.


As id the above was not enough, the lock in your door was missing (like in our case). Indeed, why one would need a lock? Considering that the windows were always closed, the key hole was the only source of "fresh air".



The enterprising director of the resort Yaroslava Trush has established quite a good scheme to obtain additional income, which in any developed country (Ukraine, apparently, is not developed enough) would be considered as corruption.

So if you have the desire to split the ticket or to get a better room (with less mold, a door lock and windows that open) - pay up. You will be asked to fill in an appropriate application (pure formality), pay the necessary amount of cash and get slightly better accommodation. I should stress that we have refused to cough up and took the form as a memorabilia.


Unfortunately, I have to admit that most of the negative  reviews are proved true.

For objectivity sake, I must point out that the staff of this institution (other than the chief) were hospitable and friendly people and the surrounding area was stunningly good. We traveled on foot to memorable where the prominent Ukrainian writer Ivan Franko places spent his youth years. We went to sightseeing to Drohobych and Boryslav and enjoyed the beauty of numerous architectural and natural landmarks of the neighborhood. However, even these tours we arranged ourselves, mostly to escape the resort territory.


Well, we all tend to look for positive aspects, even where they are not there... We hope that in 2014 the government will procure tickets to other, more comfortable and refurbished health centers, and many people will receive the quality care they deserve.


Translated by Y. Tsyganok

The Ukrainian version see here