The clinic, which is being built in the village of Zhdanovichi, Minsk District and is nearly finished, will have to cater not only to civil servants but members of the general public, too. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko gave the relevant instructions during the government conference held on 7 December to discuss healthcare organization in the future clinic.
The head of state noted that the construction of the clinic in a Minsk suburb is hotly debated by the general public. “Let me make it clear. It will cater to our population. Not only to civil servants or government officials as some people write or say although there is a grain of truth in it,” pointed out Alexander Lukashenko.
Alexander Lukashenko explained how the decision to build the healthcare institution had been made. “The previous Minsk city administration told me they had plans to build a huge hospital in Minsk due to the lack of premises. Such a hospital would have cost us €300-500 million depending on equipment options. Certainly, the state cannot afford spending so much today. The hospital could not have cost much less because nowadays we don’t build shacks not only in Minsk but in other cities, too. A miser pays twice,” he stated.
Back then the head of state decided in favor of handing over the national clinical healthcare center to the city of Minsk and building a small but modern medical facility. At that time the national clinical healthcare center catered to over 17,000 people, including about 6,000 civil servants.
“By building the compact healthcare center, we’ve saved about €400 million. That’s all the conspiracy theory there is. I decided in favor of building a smaller hospital and handing over the huge one to the city with all the equipment and personnel, who will primarily stay there. Frankly speaking, I gave instructions to make a cutting-edge hospital on the basis of the new healthcare center where state-of-the-art technologies will be assimilated. It will cater to 3,000-4,000 civil servants as well as regular people, who have earned the right to get medical services there since the Soviet times. It is the way things are done in all the countries,” stressed Alexander Lukashenko.
The president remarked that medical services at the new healthcare center will also be available to any member of the public for a fee. “If you are dissatisfied with your local hospital, you can pay money — because you opt to get medical services outside your assigned clinic — and get treatment here. Many wealthy Belarusians are ready to pay for precise diagnostics,” the head of state was convinced.
Alexander Lukashenko underlined that the project to build the new clinic had no secret steps. “It was my decision and I don’t regret making it. We’ve saved a lot of money. Those, who say it is a clinic for me, let me tell you I am quite happy with the healthcare service I already have. I don’t frequent hospitals,” he noted.
Speaking about the new healthcare center catering to civil servants, Alexander Lukashenko reminded that there are clinics, which specialize in catering to personnel of individual law enforcement agencies. These facilities have been working like that since the Soviet times. “These are good healthcare institutions. Their approach is the same: you can get treatment there if you have doubts about your assigned hospital. Let me reiterate: it is how things are done in all the countries across the globe,” said the head of state. “And that’s not the issue. I am ready to treat every one of you with velvet gloves if only you could work effectively for the benefit of the state. We can even build another hospital like that if only you work honestly, openly for the sake of prosperous Belarus.”
According to Alexander Lukashenko, there are plans to open similar healthcare institutions in every oblast so that they could transfer cutting-edge technologies to other hospitals and clinics. “We will hire the most promising and most talented doctors for such clinics if ours are in short supply so that they could teach ours how to treat what we don’t know how to treat yet. And foreign doctors will come to us to learn things. They do that already,” added the head of state.
The president wondered about the readiness of the healthcare center in the Minsk suburb of Zhdanovichi, and how medical services will be provided there, including to Belarusians, who have done considerable service to their country. “We’ve agreed that the facility will be commissioned this year. I would like to come and see at how the hospital will look,” noted Alexander Lukashenko.