IOM Health Mediators in Burgas: Facilitating Access to Health Services for Refugees from Ukraine

Like many others, Mykyta and his mother fled their home city of Odessa due to the devastating war in Ukraine. They found refuge in the seaside region of Burgas, which hosts a large number of Ukrainian refugees in Bulgaria.

As they began rebuilding their lives and integrating into their new community, an accident during play left Mykyta with a broken arm in two places. In their time of need, one of IOM Bulgaria’s health mediators in Burgas provided crucial assistance. The mediator helped with translation, administrative support in finding the right specialist, and accompanied them to the hospital. Additionally, IOM covered some of the costs for the medical examinations and procedures.

Mykyta being examined

Fortunately, Mykyta will recover without needing surgery and is expected to heal soon.

In the Burgas region, which hosts the highest number of displaced individuals from Ukraine, IOM Bulgaria has a team of health mediators who ensure refugees can access essential health services. Their roles include:

  • Consultations and Information: Providing guidance on health services.
  • Administrative Support: Assisting with health insurance and documentation.
  • GP Registration: Helping refugees register with local doctors.
  • Medical Examinations: Coordinating and scheduling necessary medical tests.
  • Accompaniment: Supporting refugees during visits to medical facilities.

IOM health mediator assisting refugees in a hospital

These efforts enhance healthcare accessibility and quality for Ukrainian refugees, offering critical support during challenging times.

EU flag\IOM Bulgaria's health mediation is implemented within the framework of the project “Improving access to healthcare for refugees and people displaced from Ukraine benefitting of temporary protection in Member States” jointly supported by IOM and the World Health Organization (WHO) and funded by European Commission - Directorate General for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE).

SDG 3 - Good Health and Well Being