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23 May 2023, 11:01

Lukashenko criticizes shortfalls in healthcare sector

MINSK, 23 May (BelTA) - Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko expressed some criticism of the revealed negative facts at the meeting on healthcare on 23 May, BelTA has learned.

“The state is doing everything possible to support the country's healthcare sector. The state allocates huge funds for healthcare: to conduct repairs, purchase equipment, pay salaries, and produce medicines. Of course, people have the right to see the return,” the head of state said. “I do not mean to say that we have done everything in healthcare from the point of view of the state. But compare us, for example, with the richest Ukraine. Before the war. You used to be in contact with specialists in Ukraine. You saw the situation in which the richest Ukraine was in terms of healthcare. There was only one reason - the authorities withdrew from solving problems in healthcare. We, on the contrary, clenched our teeth and endured. Doctors sometimes received small salaries, and we spent the last of our resources on healthcare, in order to work out a system of functioning for this most important branch of any society. There is nothing more expensive than human health,” he added.

Aleksandr Lukashenko has emphasized that there are a number of achievements in the national healthcare system and a lot is being done. For example, maternal and child protection, transplantology, and so on. “That is not what we are talking about today, however. We all know it very well,” he said. “Just two words [about these achievements]. The rest is about problems we have in healthcare.”

“Today we will be talking about how we treat our people, our ordinary people, without whom we would not be in this hall. And more specifically: how do we treat people in rural areas, small towns, villages, and agro-towns, how do we treat them? We are not talking about national scientific and practical centers, although they are also important, they are in the vanguard, they should set an example and teach others,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said outlining the main principal issue for discussion.

Recently however there has been a big amount of criticism regarding the quality of medical care and the absence of order in the healthcare institutions. These facts have been studied by an independent working group set up at the request of the head of state.

“At today's meeting we must make an objective assessment of the situation and decide what to do next. I warn you against covering each other's backs. You will be fired immediately, and you will go not just to your homes, but to other places. We need an objective assessment of what is going on. We are not here to praise and glorify each other. There is no reason to do so. In addition to the report of the independent working group and the minister's report, I would like to hear the opinion of our supervisors and our medical staff about what we need to do more. There should be specific proposals. We need to make decisions,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

The head of state emphasized that if the meeting participants decided that there are shortfalls in one or another area, it would be not only Healthcare Minister Dmitry Pinevich to blame: “We will also ask from [Grodno Oblast Governor, former Healthcare Minister Vladimir] Karanik, who recommended the current minister and his team, who swore to me. I have not forgotten this."

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