Pro Bono Ukrainian Medical Translation: Helping Patients from Ukraine with Their Medical Documentation

Ukrainian Medical Translation

It is impossible to even fathom the sheer scale of the current humanitarian crisis unfolding in Europe, but the stories of individual patients fleeing the horrors of the war tell us how much they urgently need a Ukrainian medical translation service. At Mastermind Translations, we are helping patients from Ukraine with their medical documentation while also supporting our Ukrainian medical linguists. Find out how you can help, too.

Why are you offering a pro bono Ukrainian medical translation service?

At Mastermind Translations, we specialise in translation services for life sciences, and medicine is one of our core areas of expertise. Among the plethora of medical content we translate, our team of medical linguists also work with medical documentation. Typically, we prepare such translations for Clinical Research Organisations as part of their pharmacovigilance (i.e. reporting adverse reactions to drugs) processes, and for legal firms in the context of personal injury or clinical negligence claims, as well as for patients continuing or seeking specialist medical treatment in another country.

The war in Ukraine has created an urgent need for Ukrainian medical translation services for patients requiring specialist medical treatment in Poland and other countries where they have found refuge. They are in a desperate situation and we want to help them by offering this service free of charge.

Who is the pro bono Ukrainian medical translation service for?

Our pro bono Ukrainian medical translation service is aimed at patients fleeing Ukraine who are in desperate need of specialist medical treatment in Poland or other European countries, but are unable to bear the costs of having their Ukrainian medical records translated.

The cost of preparing a professional translation of Ukrainian medical documentation can vary from £75 + VAT to £400 + VAT, with more complex medical records costing well over £1,000 + VAT to translate.
With the unprecedented number of requests we are currently receiving for Ukrainian medical translation, we need to prioritise those in most urgent need of medical assistance. For this reason, we may not be able to help those with more general health problems.

We are not able to offer our pro bono Ukrainian medical translation service to businesses or non-profit organisations. If you require a Ukrainian medical translation, we will be happy to provide you with a quote for this service.

Why do you need qualified medical linguists for these medical translations?

The translation of medical records is one of the most challenging areas of medical translation. Our 15 years of experience in life science translation has shown us that medical documentation can cover a wide spectrum of fields, from genetics to oncology, and include highly technical terminology. Acronyms and abbreviations, country-specific vocabulary, hand-written notes, and complicated layouts add further difficulty to what is already a very complex task requiring an in-depth knowledge of medicine in two different languages.

As strong advocates of professional standards in life science translations, we believe that patients fleeing Ukraine deserve a professional Ukrainian medical translation in line with the ISO 17100:2015 standard. This way we can ensure that the translation of their medical records is fully understood by medical professionals who will be making critical decisions about their care and treatment.

Unlike generalist translators, our professional medical linguists have a medical background and can combine medical knowledge with their language skills. They also have hands-on experience in working specifically with medical documentation, which means they can translate not only more accurately, but also much faster than other translators.

Why have you chosen to pay your Ukrainian medical translators?

Most of our Ukrainian medical translators and transcribers are being directly affected by the war. Some are still working in the midst of a warzone, others have already fled the country. For this reason, we absolutely cannot expect them to provide their services on a voluntary basis. They need to be remunerated for their work so they can support themselves and their families at this very difficult time, and continue to provide a professional, high-quality service.

Where does the money come from to pay your medical linguists, if the Ukrainian medical translation is provided to patients for free?

So far, we have covered the costs ourselves. However, the demand for our pro bono Ukrainian medical translation service is so high, that for a translation company of our size, it is completely unsustainable for us to continue providing it solely at our own expense. Since the start of the war, we have been inundated with requests from patients who need to have their Ukrainian medical records translated into Polish or English.

This is why we are asking for your help. We have created a fund that you can contribute to, which will help us cover some of the costs associated with our pro bono Ukrainian medical translation service.

How can I support your pro bono Ukrainian medical translation service?

Please contribute to our fund. The more you donate, the more people we will be able to help.

Your donation will have a double impact.

Firstly, you will be helping those in a very urgent need of medical record translation, such as Dmytro, a cancer patient from Kyiv, who will be able to continue his chemotherapy in Germany, and Svitlana, a mother of two from the Lviv area, who will be able to show her CT scan results to a Polish orthopaedist.

Secondly, you will be supporting the work of our Ukrainian linguists, such as Yuliia from Liviv, and Tetiana from Kyiv, so they can continue to support themselves and their families in times of extreme instability and financial hardship.

How can I donate?

Please use the easy and secure payment option below — thank you!


Make a one-time donation

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One year on…

We are deeply grateful for the incredible generosity of those who have donated to our pro bono translation service. Thanks to your support, we have raised nearly £2,200 to cover the costs of our service and pay our Ukrainian freelance translators. As a team, we have poured countless hours of our own time into managing these projects, which in total included over 150 pages of medical records. Our work has helped Ukrainian patients receive vital medical treatment in Poland, Germany, the UK, and the USA.

The impact of our collective efforts cannot be overstated. Every page translated, every phone call made, and every email sent has brought us one step closer to our goal of providing essential assistance to those in need. However, as a commercial company, we cannot sustain this free service indefinitely. We have exhausted all donations and are no longer able to provide this assistance free of charge.

If you or someone you know needs Ukrainian medical documents translated, but cannot afford to pay for this service, please consider reaching out to a volunteer translator listed in the Translators for Ukraine database.

Thank you again for your support and for helping us make a difference in the lives of those affected by this cruel war.

This article has been professionally edited free of charge by our regular blog editor Rachel Malcolm of 4.0 Creative.

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