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Czechs to offer health care to wounded Ukrainians, Kurds

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Prague, July 12 (CTK) – Czech military health facilities are to offer treatment to Ukrainian soldiers severely wounded in the fighting against pro-Russian rebels and to Iraqi Kurds wounded while fighting IS militants, according to a proposal submitted by the Defence Ministry, daily Pravo wrote on Tuesday.

The health centres should accept 30 wounded Ukrainian or Kurdish patients a year. The costs of their transfer by military planes and their medical treatment would reach 30 million crowns, one million per each patient, the paper writes.

The ministry has come up with a proposal to help the soldiers who have been wounded in countries with an unreliable security situation. Ukrainians and Kurds are the first to be offered the help, Pravo writes, but says it is not clear how long the programme should last.

“A number of the wounded die or survive with impaired health as a result of the lacking early and qualified medical care in the conflict areas,” the ministry argues in support of its proposal that is to be discussed by the cabinet in the weeks to come.

Members of the lower house’s defence committee have told Pravo that they would support this type of humanitarian aid, but criticised the Defence Ministry of Martin Stropnicky (ANO) for failing to inform them about the plan earlier.

In recent time, requests for help have been addressed to the Czech Republic by the head of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region government and some international organisations, Pravo continues.

Since the problems needs an urgent solution, and also regarding the large distances, the help cannot be provided but by means of air transport. The costs will be covered from the Czech defence sector’s budget, the ministry says.

“The provision of aid to wounded members of the armed forces of Ukraine and the Iraqi Kurdistan Region is a strong political signal showing that the Czech Republic is aware of all contemporary threats and reacts to them,” the ministry wrote in a report to the cabinet, whose text has been gained by Pravo.

“This form of help, which can also be provided to other countries in the future, has a clearly humanitarian dimension and it will boost the Czech Republic’s good name not only in the conflict-stricken areas,” the report says.

It ensues from the report, that though the military planes will transfer soldiers, the programme does not require consent from parliament because the soldiers will be wounded and unarmed people who would not fulfil military tasks in the Czech Republic, Pravo writes.

In 2014, a military plane took almost 30 Ukrainians, who were wounded during the Maidan demonstrations in Kiev, to Prague for medical treatment. However, this was a part of the Interior Ministry’s long-lasting Medevac programme focusing on the treatment of patients, often children, from conflict areas.

The Defence Ministry’s proposed programme is not a part of Medevac, it is a new separate project, Pravo adds.

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