Swiss hospitals will not treat Ukraine war wounded

The federal government looked into the international request but nonetheless ultimately decided against admitting war wounded.

Published: 19th July 2022 01:03 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th July 2022 01:03 AM   |  A+A-

Klavidia, 91, is carried on an improvised stretcher as she boards a train, fleeing the war in Severodonetsk at a train station in Pokrovsk, Ukraine.

Image used for representational purpose only. (Photo | AP)


Switzerland will not accept patients from Russia's war in Ukraine for treatment in Swiss hospitals, the government said Monday, citing its military neutrality and the difficulty in distinguishing civilians among the wounded.

The Tages Anzeiger newspaper said some Swiss cantons were willing to respond positively to a request by NATO's Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre, which is organising medical evacuations from Ukraine internationally.

Neutral Switzerland is not a member of NATO.

The federal government looked into the international request but nonetheless ultimately decided against admitting war wounded.

"After the call became known, it was clarified with the departments and federal offices concerned whether Switzerland could also accept patients in this case," the foreign ministry said in a statement.

"Switzerland generally provides better and more efficient support with its aid and humanitarian commitment on site than if patients are admitted in Switzerland.

"In addition, there were obstacles under the law of neutrality, when military patients were admitted and it was hardly possible to distinguish between civilian and military patients."

The ministry stressed that as part of its humanitarian aid, Switzerland was supporting rehabilitation measures for people injured in the conflict.

It said the main hospitals in Lviv, Sumy and Chernihiv had been provided with treatment equipment and training for physiotherapists.

Within days of Russia's February 24 invasion of Ukraine, Switzerland decided to match the neighbouring European Union's sanctions on Moscow, breaking with the neutral Alpine country's traditional reserve.

Switzerland's long-standing position is one of armed neutrality and the landlocked European country has mandatory conscription for men.

Switzerland insisted last month that it would not allow Swiss war material to be transferred via third countries to Ukraine, in line with its strict military neutrality.


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp