MINSK, 14 September (BelTA) – Objectives of Belarus as a welfare state can be undermined by external pressure, Belarusian Healthcare Minister Dmitry Pinevich said on the sidelines of the international conference “Impact of Global Economic Challenges on Social and Labor Rights” which is underway in Minsk on 13-14 September.
Dmitry Pinevich emphasized that Belarusian healthcare services boast a high level of accessibility. “Our signature feature is advanced technology: 500,000 surgeries, 500 organ transplantations. Belarusians don't spend a dime on organ transplantations and receive lifelong follow-up care. This adds to 17,000 cardiac surgeries, 15,000 transplantations of large joints, 45,000 new cancer patients detected annually. This all requires resources,” the minister said.
“Therefore, the government has committed to addressing all health needs of the population. And these commitments can be undermined by external factors, external pressure. Sanctions affect public health. Do we want this? Of course we do not. Are we going to fight? Of course, we are,” the minister emphasized.
He added that economic sanctions affect all branches of the economy and consequently social rights that depend on the state of the national economy. Dmitry Pinevich noted that today WHO discusses not just life expectancy, but also the quality of life. “Enormous resources should be and are being channeled into it. No discrimination should be allowed here. This is also enshrined in international treaties,” Dmitry Pinevich said.
The minister noted that in today's turbulent world the observance of the right to healthcare is getting especially relevant. Unresolved or emerging challenges in healthcare only exacerbate negative trends in global politics and impede sustainable development. In this regard, Dmitry Pinevich said: “The coronavirus infection is one of the biggest challenges; it has exposed vulnerabilities in social security and economic systems of many countries. No country was prepared for the pandemic,” he said.
Belarus chose not to go into a national lockdown. “Today we see that our country has chosen the right path. Our economy keeps going, while our healthcare services remain accessible as before, we are taking measures to avoid disruptions, panic, and to prevent the collapse of the healthcare system,” he said.
According to the minister, this all became possible due to the fact that Belarus is a welfare state (the country did not reduce the bed capacity, retained the infectious diseases service), as well as fairly prompt and centralized resource management.
The conference in Minsk is attended by reputable Belarusian and foreign experts, specialists in international law, representatives of the UN organizations and structures, judicial authorities, ambassadors of foreign countries, MPs, public figures. Over the course of two days, they will discuss initiatives to maintain stability in the world and to defend fundamental human rights. One of the central issues of the forum is the illegality of the use of economic sanctions.
Plans are in place to work out a resolution to be sent to the EU, the ILO and the UN.