Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko held a working meeting with Healthcare Minister Vladimir Karanik on 12 August.
“When you were appointed we agreed that you will report, first of all, on the improvement of the healthcare system in all fields and directions when you are ready. In view of the recent events in the system our society and I are concerned about such issues as the purchase of medical equipment and pricing,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
The President emphasized that fair prices for drugs and medical equipment are very important. “Of course, mediators increase prices for equipment by 30% or even more. The same pertains to drugs, medical substances and so on,” he added. “Working in the crucial link of the system, you are aware of all sore spots and maladies in our healthcare. We need to take serious efforts in this area without losing time.”
Aleksandr Lukashenko also spoke about the manufacture of medications in Belarus and import substitution. In his words, the country spends up to $500 million on the import of drugs. “This is too much. And we can produce our own drugs,” the President remarked. He recalled the recent instruction to launch the production of nearly a half of all imported drugs in Belarus. The instruction was fulfilled.
“Now it is essential to pay serious attention to substances used in manufacture of these drugs. It is necessary to pay more attention to the development and production of medications,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
He also touched upon the improvement of first medical aid. “Do not break anything. It is absolutely unnecessary. This system has existed since we were kids. But nothing is given once and for all, the system needs improvement. If you have any proposals, I will listen to them. We will do our best to address problems and make improvements this year,” the President said.
Vladimir Karanik informed the head of state about the fulfillment of his instructions, current state of affairs and problems in the healthcare system, possible solutions.