Dr. Eugen Ozarkevych - one of the founders Contemporary Ukrainian medicine

(To 150 anniversary of birth)




Eugen Ozarkevych was born 9 June 1861 in Beleluia, Sniatyn District, Halychyna (Western Ukraine). His father (Rev. Ivan Ozarkevych, 1826 1903) and his grandfather (Rev. Ivan Ozarkevych, Senior, 1794 1854) were Ukrainian catholic priests and famous civic leaders. The grandfather was also well-known Ukrainian writer. His father was successful depute to the Galician Diet and the Austrian Parliament.

Young Eugen received his high school education in Chernivtsi, and in Ukrainian Academic Gymnasium in Lviv (1879). His medical education he received at Vienna University. As a student, he was an active member of Sich student society and its president in 1883. After his graduation he had medical training at Vienna Medical Clinics and then he worked for 3 years as a county doctor in Bosnia.

In 1893 E. Ozarkevych returned to his country and established a private medical practice in Rozhnitiv and in Stryji, where he organized the Mishshanska Besida Society. In 1897, after his six months of additionald medical training at Vienna Clinics, he moved to Lviv, where he established his private practice and his organized medical activities and publications. In Lviv Dr. Ozarkevych organized Narodnia Lichnytsia Society (1902), whose Peoples Clinic he directed (1903 1914).

This Peoples Clinic provided free medical care to the poor residents of Lviv and all Galicia regardless of their religious national affiliation. Its chief founder was Dr. E. Ozarkevych and its patron and main financial supporter was Metropolitan A. Sheptytsky.

The Narodnia Lichnytsia operated this outpatient clinic (est. 1903), that consisted of four departments: internal medicine and pediatrics, surgery, ophthalmology and gynecology. In 1905 a dermatology department was added; it was followed by dental, ear and urology departments.

This clinics operation was disrupted by the First World War and after the war revived by Dr. Ivan Kurovets.

In 1937, its staff of 17 doctors treated 41,000 patients. During the 1930s the society built a 100-bed hospital, financed through public donations, with the assistance of the Ukrainian Physicians Society. Known as the Ukrainian hospital of the Narodna Lichnytsia in honor of Metropolitan A. Sheptytsky, the facility was opened officially in 1938.

Besides providing medical care, it served as a research and specialization center for Ukrainian doctors, whose access to university clinics and state hospitals was severely restricted by the Polish Government.

The directors of the Narodnia Lichnytsia hospital were E. Ozarkevych (19031914), B. Ovcharsky (19181921), S. Drymalyk (1921 1923), I. Kurovets (19231931) and T. Burachynsky (19311939).

In 1944, the society was dissolved by the Soviet authorities and its hospital was integrated into the state health system. With independent Ukraine, the society and its hospital was revived and operated by the Ukrainian Catholic Church.

In 1910, Dr. E. Ozarkevych was co-founder of Ukrainian Physicians Society in Lviv, and editor of the first Ukrainian medical journal Zdorovlie (Health) in 1912 1914, devoted to problems of sanitation and hygiene. One of its contributors was a renowned Prof. Ivan Horbachevsky from Prague.

Besides this Dr. Ozarkevych was an active member of Shevchenko Scientific Society in Lviv and editor of the NTSh Scientific collection Likarskyi Zbirnyk (1898 1901) in which he published his articles and reviews, particularly of Ukrainian medical terminology.

Dr. E. Ozarkevych was Vice-president of the Prosvita and president of its Lviv branch.

He published many medical articles in Zdorovlie and Likarskyi Zbirnyk and a few books, among them:

Poradnyk Likarskyi w Najwaznishych Neduhach (The Physicians guide in serious illnesses);

Poradnyk Higienichno-Likarskyi. Neduhy Poshesni. (Hygiene & the physician's guide. Infectious diseases).

During the First World War and the occupation of Lviv and Halychyna by the Russian army, he moved to Vienna and served as a doctor in the Ukrainian internment camp in Wolfsberg.

During that time he lost his wife and became very ill himself. He was hospitalized at Vienna Clinic where he died on October 21, 1916 and was buried in Vienna Central Cemetery besides his beloved wife.

This was a life of achievements of our outstanding Ukrainian physician scientists and Ukrainian patriot doctor Eugen Ozarkevych. His name and his pioneering work is proudly recorded in the history of Ukrainian Medicine.




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