MINSK, 18 April (BelTA) – Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko has heard out reports of Healthcare Minister Dmitry Pinevich, Prosecutor General Andrei Shved and Chairman of the State Security Committee of Belarus (KGB) Ivan Tertel, BelTA has learned.
The main topic on the agenda was fight against corruption in healthcare.
“First of all, I would like to ask you a question that is partly philosophical, partly practical: how do wars begin? Today, I can prove within 5-7 minutes that injustice is the basis of any war, and corruption is the basis of injustice,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
The president emphasized that Belarus had always had a zero tolerance approach to corruption. “Every time I announce new appointments in this hall, I strongly warn the newly appointed officials against wallowing in corruption. This is unacceptable! Nevertheless, even in such an important area like healthcare, and also in other areas, we find people who violate anti-corruption laws,” the head of state noted.
The president was also briefed on the general situation in healthcare, including the epidemiological situation and COVID-19. “I see that our doctors who do not steal but work honestly and fight against COVID-19 show good results and their efforts are bearing fruit,” Aleksandr Lukashenko noted.
The president also discussed the use of medical equipment and the inadmissibility of equipment downtime. “People on the ground tell me that not all of your medical equipment (CT and so on) is in operation due to some malfunctions, and in some cases it does not work for two or three months. This is not okay,” the head of state noted.
In addition to that, the president gave an instruction to diversify suppliers of medicines in order to prevent shortages on the domestic market. “Saying that someone does not sell us something is a poor excuse... You know, medical equipment and medicines are not under strict sanctions. If the Americans don't sell drugs to you, buy them in India, Cuba. It's just a matter of maneuverability. Therefore, excuses for not having enough medicines or something else are not accepted,” the president said.
The head of state instructed Prosecutor General Andrei Shved to take the supply of medicines and other products under control: “You know how to do it. The same ways as you handled the loss of livestock. We need to take it under control and keep an eye on it so that the government does not become complacent. The only thing I ask the government to deal with is the economy. Economy, economy, the response to the sanctions - this is your area of responsibility, so go ahead and act. At least I do not limit the ministers in anything.”