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Ukraine Support

Free ESCRS membership

All current Ukrainian members have had their membership extended for free until the end of 2022. An activation email has been sent to you all.

For those Ukrainian’s who are not yet members we are offering you free membership for this year. Please contact and we can set you an account up.

View all the fantastic benefits here.

Free registration to ESCRS Congress in Milan – 16-20 September 2022

Click here to register free. Once you select the country as Ukraine you will be asked to provide a scan of your passport.


ESCRS is actively looking at providing Ukrainian surgeons with bursaries to assist them with studying abroad. We should have more news on this in the near future.


11th June 2022 - International Symposium on Wartime Ophthalmic Trauma: Part II

Rules and regulations for accepting Ukrainian refugees, in particular cataract and refractive surgeons, into workplaces


Advice shared

UK Registration with the General Medical Council (GMC) is the key requirement -
Italy Recent law may allow Ukrainian doctors to work in Italy, in public and private structures, and up to 4 March 2023. However, there is no organized plan: single doctors can apply for individual positions, whenever available.
This is valid for nurses as well
France It may be possible to work in certain hospitals and could be worth contacting Ophtalmopôle for Paris hospitals (APHP).
Austria Refugess should have full social security - blue card - so also health services
They should receive 250 Euro per month, children additional 100 Euros
They can have a work permit.

It turns out that this is currently possible in Austria under the pandemic law which allows non-licensed physicians from other countries to work under supervision by a licensed doctor that takes full responsibility.
As soon as the pandemic is no longer officially active (as decided by the WHO), they will not be allowed to work in Austria anymore also. They then need to get their university and residency degrees acknowledged and need to have German C1 level skills.
Finland The regulations for a foreign citizen (especially from non-EU country) to gain permission to practice medicine are quite strict and time taking. To our knowledge there has been no discussion among ophthalmology departments in finnish hospitals concerning this sort of matter
Spain The regulations are those for the practice of ophthalmology in Spain which requires homologation of the ophthalmology specialty degree in order to do clinical practice. Until the homologation process is complete our fellows are considered as postdoctoral fellows in an educational visit in our institution (international fellowship).
However, as our fellowship programme for 2022 is currently full, we had to reject a second fellowship application from another Ukranian doctor.

May be worth applying individually to different universities.

During last weeks, we have received many requests from ophthalmologists from Ukraine for observership stays.
At the moment we have confirmed 3 ophthalmologists in Barcelona and 1 person in Alicante for the next months. These are the centers that usually receive observers.
However, given the high volume of requests, it would be necessary to create training itineraries in other clinics of the Miranza group.

As soon as we have organized what more places we can offer and for how long, I will contact you.
Although Spain has a low cost of living compared to other European countries, it is more expensive than Ukraine. For example, in Barcelona, we are having a lot of problems finding accommodation under 4000€ per month.
On the other hand, being such a large group and with so many clinics, there could also be some professional vacancies but it would be necessary for them to speak Spanish. If you detect any person with knowledge of Spanish, you can provide him/her with my contact to send me the CV and I can organize a personal interview with Human Resources.

We are in contact for any further progress - Irene Garcia
The Netherlands We discussed this last Thursday (07 April) at the board meeting of The Netherlands IntraOcular Implant society.
As far as the board members are aware, it is currently not possible for doctors from outside the EU to exploit activities as a physician inside the NL. An extensive education program would be needed including following courses and evaluation of language checks, performing rotations in different subspecialist fields and undergoing knowledge tests of general medicine.

We will pose a formal question to the institution that is responsible for the accreditation of foreign physicians / ophthalmologists and come back to you thereafter.
Portugal In Portugal, job opportunities are summarized at the following website:

The attached document has a summary of rules, regulations and contact numbers.

Concerning Medicine, we will have to contact the Portuguese Medical Council (Ordem dos Médicos) but the specific regional council (north, center or south) depends on which place the refugee wants to work.

Portuguese Medical College has just published a diploma that simplifies the recognition of professional qualifications for Ukrainian refugees in order to allow Ukrainian doctors to work, even without speaking Portuguese. This availability of the College is being negotiated with the Government.
Ukranian surgeons can work here – they need to have accreditation as they are coming from outside the EU so I think they would have to work for a while under the supervision of an accredited dr until their paperwork came in order. Obtaining a RIZIV number to operate independently would be very tricky I think.

Please find hereby the Belgian situtation for Ukrainian Ophthalmologists.
At this moment, there is no specific regulation for Ukrainian ophthalmologists
There is current no specific regulation for the processing of applications for recognition from healthcare professionals from Ukraine.

These applicants must first submit an application for full equivalence to NARIC Vlaanderen.
For any questions they can contact NARIC Vlaanderen via:
Hendrik Consciencegebouw
Toren 2C, Koning Albert II-laan 15
B-1210 Brussel, België
Tel: +32 2 553 17 00

When they have received full equivalence from NARIC Vlaanderen, a file must be submitted to the Federal Public Service Public Health in order to receive a visa.
For any questions they can contact the Federal Public Service Public Health via:

FOD Volksgezondheid
Galileelaan 5/2
1210 Brussels, Belgium
Tel: +32 2 524 97 97

However, with this full equivalence and with the visa, the applicant cannot yet work in Belgium as a doctor. To do this, they must be recognized as a medical specialist. The person can obtain this by submitting a file to our service after going through the above two steps. This file must certainly contain the following documents: proof of full equivalence from NARIC Vlaanderen, the visa, the application form and all documents stated on this application form.

After we have received a complete file, it will be submitted for advice to the members of the competent recognition committee.

This file may be sent to:
Agentschap Zorg en Gezondheid
Team Zorgberoepen
Internationaal – Universitair
Koning Albert II-laan 35 bus 38
1030 Brussel


The advice listed here is for guidance only and has been gathered by ESCRS principally from its own members and from national affiliated societies but it is not definitive and ESCRS can accept no responsibility for its accuracy. It should also be borne in mind that the situation and the advice may change. In every case, individuals must seek authoritative advice from the country of interest.