Promoting people’s health care, enhancing the quality of medical services and improving the health care system are top priorities of Belarus’ state policy. The system of delivering medical care includes primary medical care (including first aid and emergency medical services), specialized and stationary medical assistance.
The regional and national health clinics, centres and hospitals provide not only mass medical services but also special ones. In some cases this is unique medical treatment.
The public health protection sphere is supervised in Belarus by the Ministry of Public Health (www.minzdrav.by) through health care offices of the regional executive committees and the health department of the Minsk City Council. The republican health care organisations are subordinate directly to the Ministry of Public Health. Private medical centres provide medical aid in Belarus as well.
Belarus also has interregional medical centres. These are research institutions that unite several multifunctional experimental units located on the same territory. At present there are seven such centres in Belarus – Cardiology, Mother and Child, Children’s Oncology and Hematology Centre, Centre for Hygiene, Radiation Medicine and Ecology, Centre for Haematology and Transfusiology, and Neurology and Neurosurgery Centre.
Belarus is the CIS leader in health care spending. In 2008 health care spending amounted to Br4.503,1 trillion, or 4.03% of Belarus’ GDP.
The year 2008 was declared the Year of Health in Belarus. As part of the Year of Health project, prophylactic medical examination of the entire population of our country was announced. Prophylactic medical examination departments were set up in health care centers.
In March 2007 Belarus adopted a Law on organ and tissue transplantation. The Law provides for free-of-charge international exchange of organs and tissues if appropriate donors and recipients are found.
In April 2008 Minsk ninth city hospital performed the country’s first two liver transplantation surgeries utilising cutting- edge technologies.
Sanitary and epidemiologic examination of the population in Belarus is performed by a network of state-owned health care institutions, the main one being the National Hygiene, Epidemiology and Health Protection Center. At the local level, sanitary and epidemiologic services are provided by oblast, town and district hygiene and epidemiology centers.
Considering the danger of HIV spread, the National AIDS Prevention and Counteraction Center was established. In 2008 the Belarusian Red Cross Society spent Br1.1 billion on a massive anti-AIDS campaign.
Belarus has an advanced medical rehabilitation system. Treatment in health resorts forms part of this system. Every Belarusian health resort has its specialization and provides a whole range of modern-day physiotherapy services.
In 2008 there were 101 sanatoria and spa treatment organizations in Belarus, with a total of 24,500 beds, including 62 centers for adults and nine for children, 19 children’s rehabilitation and recuperation centers, 16 student recuperation and preventive clinics. There are 265 recuperation organizations in Belarus for 47,500 beds, including 185 children’s recuperation camps.
In 2008, 919,700 people, including 850,600 children (128,700 of them suffered the impact of the Chernobyl catastrophe, and 1,200 are disabled children), recuperated from the state budget and the state social security fund.
Some 82,300 foreigners visited Belarusian health resorts in 2008, most of them from the CIS countries.
For more information on the recreation services provided by Belarusian health resorts, please visit the websites of the following organizations: TsentrKurort (www.otpusk.by), Belgoszdravnitsa (www.mshp.minsk.by) and Belprofsoyuzkurort (www.kurort.by).