Dr. Vitali Vitek and Dr. Hanya Vitek are one of the few amazing doctors that do not ask patients for money. Because the Vitek’s do not ask for money from their patients, they try to live on the salaries paid by the government, which is $220 per month. The Viteks are located in a village called Oblapeh, which is about 30 minutes drive north of the city of Kovel, Volen Province (Oblast) in the Northwest corner of Ukraine. They are the local physicians and have been treating patients for 18 years. Dr. Vitali still sees patients, but he has moved into the new role of being the village priest in the local Ukrainian Orthodox church. Hanya is currently the general physician for the area.
Over the 25 years that Medical Mercy Canada has worked in rural Ukraine, there have been some wonderful stories that have come back. One story came out of the Vitek’s village. One day, a young man arrived at one of the clinics with a large laceration to his forehead. There were no government supplies at the clinic at the time. The only supplies available were what Medical Mercy Canada has been sending to Dr. Vitek and their clinic twice a year for the past 10 years. Thankfully, there were still sutures remaining the night the young man came in. Dr. Vitek was able to suture the young man and send him home to heal. If it weren’t for the supplies MMC had sent, the young man would have had to travel to the nearest hospital, which is 60 kilometres away, where he would have had to pay for treatment.