A permanent medical humanitarian programme active since 1993
The programme focuses on providing access to medical care for vulnerable groups of persons. The care provided is free of charge and exclusively for civilians – persons, who are in dire of such medical care or whose condition prevents them from leading a dignified life.
MEDEVAC is implemented through the deployment of Czech medical teams abroad, expert trainings and internships for foreign medical staff, evacuating of patients for medical treatment to the Czech Republic and supporting of medical projects aimed at rebuilding health infrastructure.
The programme is coordinated by the Czech Ministry of the Interior, in close cooperation with other relevant ministries, namely the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Defence and the Czech army. As of 2016, the Ministry of Trade and Industry and as of 2021, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports also partake in the programme.
WHAT ARE WE DOING?
- Humanitarian evacuations of persons with a severe health condition to the Czech Republic for treatment (since 1993)
- Deployment of Czech teams of doctors abroad (since 2013)
- Specialised internships of physicians from the areas hit by humanitarian crisis in the Czech Republic (since 2015)
- Provision of financial donations abroad for the support and development of infrastructure in countries affected by war or natural disasters (since 2016)
“It is a project that will elevate the soul of everyone who gets involved.
I’m glad I could be a part of it.”
- PhDr. Tomas Haisman
The inception of the MEDEVAC Programme (from English “MEDical EVACuation”) dates back to the beginning of 1993 where there was a war conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina. At the end of 1993, A four-year-old girl was evacuated for treatment to the Czech Republic after she was hurt in a small town in Bosnia by a grenade. Even though the local doctors worked hard to help her survive, her injuries required specialized care. At the request of the Ministry of the Interior, the treatment was provided in Motol University Hospital in Prague.
Subsequently, other patients arrived, not only children but also adults. Although the war in the former Yugoslavia ended, in 1998 the war in Kosovo started and MEDEVAC (at that time still a project of the Czech MoI) offered once again its helping hand. In the following years, evacuations from other countries took place: Afghanistan, Cambodia, Chechnya, Iraq, Libya, Myanmar, Pakistan, Syria. In addition to Motol University Hospital, other Czech Hospitals also assisted in providing specialized care, namely: Bulovka Hospital, Vinohrady University Hospital and the General University Hospital in Prague.
A total of 171 foreign patients were treated between the years 1993 – 2013 in the Czech Republic under MEDEVAC.
The greatest credit for the fact that MEDEVAC could have been established belongs mainly to its founder, the then director of the Department of Asylum and Migration Policy of the Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic, PhDr. Tomas Haisman. Thanks to his determination and immense diligence, the Czech Republic can proudly present such a unique programme.
WHO ARE WE WORKING WITH?
Medical teams deployed abroad are experts from the Czech university hospitals that are under direct authority of the Ministry of Health. They include: Bulovka Hospital, General University Hospital in Prague (VFN), Hradec Králové University Hospital (FN Hradec Králové), Institute of Clinical and Experimental Medicine (IKEM), Motol University Hospital (FN Motol), Olomouc University Hospital (FN Olomouc), University Hospital Brno (FN Brno) and University Hospital Vinohrady (FN Královské Vinohrady). As of 2016, the Military University Hospital (UVN) in Prague-Střešovice that is under direct authority of the Ministry of Defence, also participates in the programme.