October 21, 2011
MINSK, 21 October (BelTA) – Belarus has advanced its healthcare system to the world-class level, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said as he met with participants of the Second Eurasian Congress of Cardiologists on 21 October, BelTA has learnt.
Alexander Lukashenko is convinced that if a country has a well-developed healthcare and education, it has prospects and can develop further. “That was our approach to healthcare. That was our ideological ground when we faced a choice whether or not to break down the old healthcare system (or some elements of it) in order to build a new healthcare system in Belarus,” the head of state said.
The President admitted that the old healthcare system that Belarus inherited from the Soviet Union had a lot of advantages. “Both healthcare and education back then were not inferior to those in the neighboring states,” he said.
“However, the time demanded new approaches. We made a very painful decision some 5-6 years ago and we have been working really hard the last 3-4 years,” Alexander Lukashenko said.
The head of state said that Belarus has streamlined and upgraded the entire hierarchy of healthcare facilities, from rural health posts to regional hospitals and flagman research centers. “We have upgraded district hospitals, starting from operating rooms. We spent a lot of money to purchase state-of-the-art equipment. This pushed our producers to develop and manufacture all medical devices and equipment, starting from an operating table. After that, we set up 16 centers in the oblast.
Alexander Lukashenko stressed that new and advanced technology developed in medical research centers is “immediately adopted in the regions”.
The head of state also noted that Belarus had made considerable progress in reducing the infant mortality, down to the global level. Belarus has accumulated best practices in cancer treatment, transplantation of organs and tissues, cardiology and other areas. An extensive use is made of world scientific experience.
“We have revived our healthcare, modernized and raised it to the world-class level. I had to make decisions on all fronts since it was connected with expensive spending. And I do not regret it, although we had financial problems and are still dealing with some of them now. We spent a lot of money on it. As you can imagine, this does not generate profit. It only consumes foreign exchange earnings that the country makes,” Alexander Lukashenko stated.
Alexander Lukashenko noted the particular importance of the development of cardiology because, according to statistics, heart diseases are a number one cause of death. Our specialists have been in Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan to share their experience,” the President said.
According to him, the second Eurasian Congress is staged in Belarus, which attests to recognition of the national cardiology school. The President asked the participants to openly express their opinion about what else Belarus needs to do in cardiology and in healthcare in general.