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European solidarity: Austria supports Poland by taking over Ukrainian cancer patients

AUSTRIA, March 22 - Patient transport with five displaced Ukrainian cancer patients from Poland reaches Vienna

Poland has been particularly affected by the humanitarian consequences of Russia's war of aggression in Ukraine. More than 2.3 million Ukrainians have crossed the EU border into Poland since 24 February. Poland's health system was already under strain due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the influx has pushed it to its limits.

To relieve some of this pressure, Poland's Ministry of Health submitted a request to the Austrian embassy in Warsaw, asking the government for urgent assistance to help transfer displaced Ukrainian cancer patients out of the country.

Of course, Austria has accepted this request. The countries bordering Ukraine have had to cope with enormous numbers of refugees and are being pushed to their limits. In the current situation, it is more important than ever for European countries to show solidarity with each other,

Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg said.

The first transfer of cancer patients from Poland to Austria was successfully completed today thanks to close cooperation between the Austrian Ministry of Health, the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Austria's embassies in Warsaw and Prague, the Polish Ministry of Health, and the Vienna division of the Austrian Red Cross.

This evening (Wednesday), five cancer patients arrived in Vienna along with their closest relatives, following a journey of around 12 hours across the Czech Republic from the Polish city of Lublin. The five patients will now be transferred to hospitals across Austria.

 As Foreign Minister Schallenberg made clear,

Austria is ready to provide medical care to particularly vulnerable patients from Ukraine in the future as well.