Doctors Manitoba Offers Support During Conflict in Ukraine
Statement from Dr. Kristjan Thompson, President of Doctors Manitoba.
Physicians across Manitoba are very disturbed by the events unfolding in Ukraine. As doctors, it is our job to prevent death and injury, and seeing how this conflict is impacting the Ukrainian people’s lives, health, and well-being is deeply distressing.
So far, hundreds of civilians have been killed and countless more injured. Hundreds of thousands are seeking refuge daily in basements, bomb shelters, and subway stations.
The country is running short on medical supplies, medications, oxygen, PPE, surgical items, and blood products. Women are giving birth in hospital bomb shelters. Doctors and healthcare workers are relocating critically ill patients to hospital basements where sick patients, including children, have a hard time sleeping as they listen to the sounds of explosions and gunfire above.
Hospitals, health facilities, and ambulances are being attacked. According to the World Health Organization earlier this week, at least 9 people have died in 16 health facility attacks during the Russian invasion. Yesterday, at least three more are dead after a children’s and maternity hospital was bombed in Mariupol.
Over a million have fled the country, in what the UN calls the fastest growing refugee crisis since the second world war. And that’s if they can escape, as evacuation corridors have come under fire. This uncertainty is making it difficult to evacuate the most vulnerable, including hospital patients, because staff don’t know how long the journey will be, what medical supplies are available, and what the risks and dangers might be on their way out.
Yesterday, the Doctors Manitoba Board of Directors joined together in a moment of silence and solidarity, and unanimously passed a motion to demonstrate their unwavering support for the Ukrainian people and our physician/healthcare colleagues in Ukraine who must be protected during the Russian invasion. Further, the Board directed Doctors Manitoba to make a donation to the Red Cross to support the humanitarian response to this crisis, and we call for an immediate end to this unprovoked invasion of a sovereign nation.