Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children says it can still accommodate more pediatric cancer patients from Ukraine, even after three more children and their families arrived from the war-torn country this week.
SickKids welcomed three more children and their caregivers on Wednesday via a flight from Poland, where many Ukrainians are seeking refuge as the war in Ukraine enters a second month.
Over the coming days, the children will undergo initial assessments at the hospital to determine appropriate care plans.
SickKids Oncolgist Dr. Sumit Gupta joined their flight to Toronto and said he was impressed by how strong the children are while undergoing such adversity.
“I have to say the resilience of these children- who, having had their lives completely disrupted, can still laugh at silly jokes or enjoy beating adults, i.e myself, at card games- is really quite awe-inspiring, as is their caregivers’ determination to do whatever it takes to protect their children,” Gupta said during a virtual press conference Friday morning.
The hospital accepted its first two pediatric cancer patients from Ukraine last week, which was described as “one of the most complex logistical challenges” the hospital has faced.
Earlier this month, SickKids announced they would help with the transfer of pediatric patients to their hospital to assist during the humanitarian crisis.
Gupta said the hospital has the capacity to accept more children but the exact number will depend on a variety of factors, including medical complexity.
“It really does depend on the needs of the individual kids and the families that come to us. What I can say is that we do have the capacity to take more children,” he said.
He added that seven other hospitals across Canada are willing to accept pediatric patients from Ukraine as well, and are in discussions with partner agencies in Europe.
SickKids President and CEO Dr. Ronald Cohn has previously said the hospital could take upwards of 10 to 15 patients.
As for other medical patients in Ukraine and Poland, Gupta said it is unknown at this time if SickKids or other Canadian hospitals will accept them.
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