Semmelweis University will provide health care for refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine in all cases, and will increase respective human resources capacity if necessary. In case Ukrainian patients have language difficulties at a clinic, the university’s Department of Languages for Specific Purposes provides 24-hour on-call interpretation in Ukrainian and Russian. The university will also give students, researchers, lecturers working in the field of medicine and health sciences, and those working in patient care, the opportunity to continue their work and studies in Hungarian, English or German, announced Rector Dr. Béla Merkely. The university provides a venue for collecting donations in its central warehouse as well. (This article is updated regularly.)

As of  October 1, 2023, 1495 outpatients and 365 inpatients from Ukraine were treated at the clinics of Semmelweis University. As we reported in a separate article, on March 1, 2022, a Ukrainian refugee gave birth to a baby boy at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and since then several births have taken place there. 

Between February 26, 2022 and January 8, 2023, the university’s dormitories provided accommodation for 396 refugees from Ukraine. Currently, 51 people are receiving housing. So far, 685 students have submitted a form to temporarily continue their studies at Semmelweis University as a guest student, and thousands have expressed interest via email. Of the applications submitted, a total of 123 students joined the programme as visiting students in the spring semester of the academic year 2021/22, the vast majority of them at the Faculty of Medicine.

Semmelweis University is helping refugees from Ukraine in four areas. “The institution provides health care for refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine in all cases, and in the present situation, the university will also provide additional human resource capacity for this purpose, if necessary,” said Rector Dr. Béla Merkely.

The institution is ready to offer students, researchers and lecturers in the field of medicine and health sciences, and those working in patient care, the opportunity to continue their work and studies in Hungarian, English or German.

Semmelweis University dormitories continue to welcome international medical students who previously studied in Ukraine, with students from Bangladesh, Ghana, Egypt, Nigeria, India and Iran having been accommodated so far.

On February 28, Rector Dr. Béla Merkely and Dr. Alán Alpár, Vice-Rector for International Studies, met the newly arrived students in person at the János Balassa Dormitory, and informed them that they can continue their studies at Semmelweis University in English, if they wish to do so, after the necessary formalities.

Under the Students at Risk sub-programme of the Stipendium Hungaricum programme, the government provides support for Ukrainian students and also third-country nationals fleeing from Ukraine to continue and complete their studies in Hungary. Semmelweis University has the capacity to host 250 students under the scholarship programme, for which applications are open until April 30. Further information is available on the Stipendium Hungaricum website. The evaluation of the applications already received and nominated is ongoing. The final decision on the students gaining fellowships will be made by the Tempus Public Foundation, after the extended deadline for applications.

If necessary, the institution will help more undergraduates and also the families of students with Ukrainian links to find accommodation. It is currently assessing what community spaces can be mobilized for this purpose.



The university also set up a donation collection point at the Central Warehouse of the Technical Directorate-General (1102 Budapest, Liget u. 22.), where every day from February 28 to March 14, 2022, donations were awaited on the basis of a predefined list, and which were then sent by the institution to help those affected by the situation in Ukraine, as part of the national fundraising campaign.

Donation for a Ukrainian hospital

The Clinical Centre of Semmelweis University donated HUF 2 million worth of medicine and disinfectant to the Uzhhorod Hospital, in Western Ukraine. The consignment, which was assembled to include items and products that can be used in everyday hospital care, left Budapest on Wednesday, May 4. The donation package, consisting of five pallets of disinfectants and one pallet of medicines, reached its destination next day, thanks to the staff of the Johanniter International Assistance. The Hungarian Society of Cardiologists, which initiated the campaign, also provided assistance to the Uzhhorod Hospital, where number of cases have multiplied due to the war.

Pálma Dobozi
Translation: Viktória Kiss, Tamás Deme

Contributor: Mária Sánta
Photos: Bálint Barta
Featured image (illustration): Envato Elements