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Lukashenko discusses amendments to public health laws


The national healthcare system is prepared to adequately respond to new challenges, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said at a meeting to discuss ways to improve the national healthcare system on 14 January, BelTA has learned.

The discussion focused on amendments to the laws on public health and on psychological therapy. These are framework documents regulating the provision of medical care to the population, the head of state noted. “On the one hand, they have not been comprehensively revised for about ten years. Over this time, medicine, science and social development have changed dramatically. Probably, it's time to update these laws. On the other hand, when this work began, no one could predict that this pandemic would break out. It did not only change our plans, it also showed that the national healthcare system as a whole is ready to adequately respond to new challenges,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said. 

The president wanted to know how the new law regulates the management of this critical area and provision of quality medical care. “The healthcare system should be further provided with everything it needs,” he said. 

“In our country, the right to healthcare is unshakable. Every citizen of Belarus should have access to quality healthcare free of charge in state-run healthcare facilities. The state, for its part, is obliged to make sure that hospitals have modern medical equipment, doctors have personal protective gear, and patients, wherever they live (in the capital city or in a village), receive healthcare services they need,” the president said. 

Amendments to a number of legislative provisions will allow the national healthcare system to keep up with the pace of change and move forward, the head of state noted. “What does the analysis of the existing trends suggest? What prompted the revision of public health laws? In other words, we need to answer the question whether we need it or not, and why. I would ask you to deliver a report on how the new regulations will impact the healthcare system as a whole and individual hospitals, doctors and, most importantly, patients in particular,” the head of state said. 

According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, it is impossible to ignore the matters that are essential for public health: the promotion of physical education and sports, environmental safety, broad access to rehabilitation and recreation facilities, improvement of occupational safety. These areas of work should also be properly regulated,” the president stressed. 

The head of state drew attention to the fact that, no matter how the legislation might change, one should remember: a patient will always be at the heart of the healthcare system. “Our priority tasks are to save people, preserve and improve their health. The unchanging priority of the healthcare system is to provide affordable and high-quality medical care to the population,” he concluded. 

According to Healthcare Minister Dmitry Pinevich, the barriers to effective functioning of the national healthcare system have been removed in recent years. A multi-level system of healthcare provision was built - from rural health posts and central district hospitals to national research centers. Belarus boasts advanced medical technology. For example, in 2019 alone, 22,500 cardiac surgeries, 7,500 joint endoprosthesis procedures and 550 organ transplantations were performed. About 46,000 cancer patients receive radical treatment annually. 

Almost 3,500 medical students and nearly 4,000 nursing students graduate annually in the country.

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