Ukraine Asks Hospitals to Temporarily Suspend Planned Surgeries

KYIV (Reuters) – Ukraine’s health ministry said on Tuesday it was asking regional officials to consider suspending non-essential surgeries until the energy situation inside the country stabilizes.

Eight waves of Russian air strikes on critical infrastructure in recent weeks have seriously damaged Ukraine’s power grid and led to emergency and planned outages across the country.

In a statement on Tuesday, the ministry said hospitals were continuing to provide emergency care but that planned surgeries should be temporarily suspended to ease the load on the medical system amid potential future blackouts.

“They will be carried out when the situation around the supply of electricity stabilizes,” it said.

The ministry added that only a doctor could determine the level of urgency of a given procedure.

Ukrainian grid operator Ukrenergo said on Tuesday that it would take workers several more days to restore electricity production to levels prior to the latest wave of Russian strikes on Monday.

Health officials said last month that all Ukrainian hospitals were equipped with generators.

(Reporting by Dan Peleschuk; Editing by Alexandra Hudson)

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