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20 October 2021, 14:00

Lukashenko says will support new hospital project but with one reservation

MINSK, 20 October (BelTA) – The design of the new building of Minsk Oblast Clinical Hospital should be functional, without frills, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he talked to employees of Minsk Oblast Clinical Hospital on 20 October, BelTA has learned.

The hospital staff told the president that the problem of the new building of the regional hospital has been pending for 10 years. The existing building was built in 1975.

"I was briefed about this project. I told the chief physician and the minister that the design should be optimal and functional. Medical equipment is something we cannot economize on,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said. "I see that the current design project has some excesses."

At the same time, the president noted that the project is likely to get his support. Moreover, China will provide financial assistance. "But please look for places where we can save: there is no extra money. Money should be spent on medical equipment, medicines, science, talented doctors, rather than on walls," the Belarusian leader said.

The head of state advocates a well-balanced approach to the construction of new schools and hospitals. He believes it is better to spend extra money on salaries of teachers and healthcare workers. “This does not mean that we will stop funding the acquisition of high-tech equipment or construction projects. We need an optimal approach here,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed. “We'd better give this money to people. We have recently built too many facilities - cultural, educational, healthcare ones and have overlooked the salaries of nurses, junior medical staff, and even doctors,” he said.

According to the president, once there were plans to build a large hospital in Minsk. In the end, the National Clinical Medical Center moved to Zhdanovichi while its facilities in Minsk were repurposed as a city hospital. “We built an absolutely functional hospital and the project cost us three times less. We need to implement a similar project here. We do not need to spend $150 million on the project. This money is enough to equip two hospitals,” said the head of state.

Minsk Oblast Hospital has 947 beds: 410 in the therapeutic unit, 500 in surgery and 37 in intensive care. As Chief physician of Minsk Oblast Clinical Hospital Aleksandr Linkevich reported to the president, the hospital lacks space, and therefore some of its patients are treated in the children's oblast hospital. Plans are in place to construct a new building to solve the problem. According to the project, the new facility will have an expanded intensive care unit.

The president stressed that practicality should be the priority. After all, sometimes even the existing bedspace is never fully occupied. “Doctors always want to have more beds, more space. That is why when we are talking about a new building (and you want to have more than ten operating theaters there), my immediate question is whether we could do with fewer. Not because it is expensive or anything. Of course, if you need ten, it should be ten. But if you can do with five, then we will build five,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko.

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