Pharmacists and pharmacist assistants from Ukraine contribute to the pharmaceutical care of Latvian residents

Jau kopš pavasara vienā no lielākajām „Mēness aptiekām” kopā ar kolēģiem strādā farmaceite no Harkivas Ukrainā Viktorija Ribakova

There are 12 pharmacists and pharmacist assistants from Ukraine working in “Mēnes Aptiekas” – most of them found refuge in Latvia after the start of hostilities in their homeland, confirms Baiba Pedraudze, director of personnel management of “Repharm” pharmaceutical companies. The young colleagues of “Mēness aptiekas” regularly improve their professional knowledge and learn the Latvian language in parallel with their new work.

“Since the beginning of hostilities in Ukraine, we have been looking for various ways to help, and in addition to donating medical supplies, we accept people from Ukraine, providing them with both work in the companies of the Repharm group and a place to live in Riga and other places in Latvia. Pharmacists and pharmacist assistants are highly sought-after specialists in Latvia, therefore we are doubly pleased – both by giving job opportunities to those who came from Ukraine, and by supplementing the team of “Mēnes Aptiekas” with knowledgeable pharmacists and pharmacist assistants. For each such employee in the pharmacy, we attract a colleague – a mentor, who helps to learn the specifics of working in Latvia and certain medicines, medical products, if necessary, engages in a conversation with the client, but also supports them in solving domestic issues in a human way together with the other colleagues. At any time, Ukrainian colleagues can also receive support from the company’s management,” confirms Baiba Pedraudze, director of personnel management of “Repharm” pharmaceutical companies. “Our young colleagues from Ukraine in Riga and other places in Latvia started their work in very different ways, some saw a job advertisement, another came to talk to a pharmacy.”

After Ukraine’s victory in the war, most of the specialists who found refuge in Latvia will most likely return to their homeland, but Baiba Pedrauze highly values the current contribution of the employees of “Mēness Aptiekas” to the company and to Latvian pharmacy as a whole. In Baiba Pedrauze’s view, their knowledge and work culture are a common benefit, employees from Ukraine intensively learn the Latvian language in courses and self-study.

As a good example, Baiba Pedrauze cites pharmacist Mikolas Gundarijeva, who came to Latvia from Ukraine already six years ago, has learned to speak Latvian, settled down, founded a family and can currently be a good support to his compatriots in Latvia. Mikola Gundarijevs says about learning the Latvian language: “It wasn’t easy, but little by little I learned more, got used to the Latvian environment, talked with colleagues, new friends – everyone helped and supported me!” According to him, pharmaceutical care in Latvia is at a high level: “We pay attention to each client, provide personalized treatment, take our time. It is valuable that every month the company offers training for pharmacists and we can participate in various professional skills development courses. I don’t feel a big difference between the needs of customers in my homeland and in Latvia – if a health problem appears, something worries them, most of them go to the pharmacy first.” Last year, another pharmacist from Ukraine joined Mēnes Aptieka in Riga, where Mikola Gundariyevs works: “I am like her mentor – I also helped to solve various issues about visa, insurance, Latvian language courses. Helping with everything I can!”

Each of the Ukrainian pharmacists and pharmacists’ assistants who started working in “Moon Pharmacies” last year has a recognition sign in the colors of this country’s flag.

Specialists from Ukraine working in the companies of the “Repharm” group have the same salary as any employee of a pharmaceutical company, and have purchased a health insurance policy so that, in case of need, everyone has timely and high-quality support for health care. The health insurance policy includes 100% of the patient’s contributions, planned inpatient care with a referral from a family doctor, mandatory health check-up, vaccination, paid outpatient and inpatient services and other services essential to health.

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