MINSK, 3 June (BelTA) – Issues related to children's healthcare need to be resolved promptly, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said at an opening ceremony of city children's polyclinic No. 9 in Minsk, BelTA has learned
Reporting to the president on the provision of medical care to children and adolescents, Healthcare Minister Dmitry Pinevich stressed that it was the right decision to preserve the pediatric service in the country. For example, the share of boys among children has recently increased and now stands at 51% against 49% of girls. This was partly due to a decrease in child mortality due to injuries. Infant mortality in Belarus is generally lower than ever.
Particular attention, according to the minister, is paid to the prevention of diseases in children. About 1,300 doctors work in primary care, in polyclinics, and 1,000 pediatricians in hospitals.
To solve personnel issues in the pediatric service, enrollment in relevant medical majors has been increased, and a pediatric faculty has been opened at Vitebsk State Medical University. A dormitory for medical workers is being built in Minsk. It will have twice as many places than the number of people on the waiting list for better housing in Minsk. This will attract more medical specialists to work in Minsk.
The head of state asked about the structure of medical care in the capital and the issues it is facing todat. It was reported that in Minsk there are 40 adult polyclinics, 21 children's and five more pediatric departments in adult polyclinics. "Is this enough or we need more?" Aleksandr Lukashenko asked.
In response, it was said that there are problems in some large neighborhoods where a population is growing rapidly, for example, Minsk World, Loshitsa, and Sukharevo. Two polyclinics are already being built there.
It was noted that there is no urgent need to build new facilities, that it is better to concentrate on the renovation of the existing ones and direct the saved funds to increase the salaries of doctors.
“Let us agree on the following: all the issues related to children's healthcare should be addressed in a speedy fashion. We have to understand, however, that Minsk is not a remote village where it is hard to reach anything. We do not need excessive construction. If we have enough beds and there are enough places to treat people, then maybe we should stop construction of healthcare facilities and save money to increase salaries of doctors and medical workers,” said the head of the state underlining the need for a reasonable approach. According to him, with good salaries doctors will be ready to work in any district of Minsk. "We have to take this approach to support the doctors now. Then they will stay in healthcare,” the Belarusian leader said.
The president added that if necessary, Minsk healthcare institutions should provide services to the rural population, residents of other districts and regions. “Minsk clinics and hospitals should accept them if necessary. Villages, small towns should not suffer. It is very important,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
Belarus has had a multilevel system of maternal and child healthcare for more than 20 years. There are 45 perinatal centers in the country. Children under the age of 17 account for almost 20% of the country's population.
Medical care for children and teenagers is provided by more than 4,500 pediatricians. The pediatric service has been recently staffed at the level of almost 98%.
According to the Healthcare Ministry, child morbidity rates have remained relatively stable since 2009, as has the distribution of children by health group. According to the results of medical checkups, in 2021, 85.8% of children have the 1st and 2nd health groups, 12% - the 3rd (children with chronic diseases) and 2% - the 4th health group (children with disabling diseases).
Belarus goes 8th in the ranking of countries with the lowest neonatal mortality rates. In terms of infant mortality rate (2.9 per 1,000 live births in 2021) Belarus is ahead of all CIS countries and many developed countries of the world.