In line with the Belarusian legislation, all people are guaranteed:
- free medical aid in state-run healthcare institutions;
- affordability of medications;
- informed voluntary consent to medical intervention;
- the right to choose an attending doctor and a healthcare facility;
- participation in the choice of treatment methods;
- availability of information about their own health status, treatment methods, and qualifications of the attending doctor, other personnel directly involved in the treatment process;
- the right to choose people who can be informed about their health status;
- the right to deny medical treatment, including medical intervention, with the exception of the cases stipulated by the legislation;
- in-patient treatment in healthcare facilities meeting hygiene, sanitary, and anti-epidemic requirements; the right to security and protection of personal dignity;
- respectful and humane attitude of healthcare workers.
Sixteen specialized national research centers have been set up in Belarus. These include the Cardiology Center, the Mother and Child Center, the Center for Transplantation of Organs and Tissues, the Neurology and Neurosurgery Center, the Center for Transfusion and Medical Biotechnologies, the Traumatology and Orthopedics Center, etc. Their goal is to bring together research and practice to apply state-of-the-art technologies in treatment and diagnostics.
The government has an unwavering focus on the well-being of women and children. Belarusian prenatal centers nurse newborns whose weight is below 500g. In 2008 the program of mass screening of children and newborn babies was launched in Belarus in a bid to improve medical aid to pregnant women and newborns.
Recuperation facilities are part of the medical rehabilitation network. There are 475 recuperation centers in Belarus.
It is always better to prevent a disease than to treat it. That is why Belarusian healthcare professionals invest a lot of efforts in preventing health hazards, promoting a healthy lifestyle and creating appropriate conditions for it. Belarus runs a comprehensive educational and awareness-raising system aimed to promote a healthy lifestyle.
National programs Cardiology, Oncology, Tuberculosis, Innovative Technologies and many more are implemented in the country. The National AIDS Prevention Center was established in Belarus to curb the spread of HIV.
The national healthcare system aims to make the population healthier by raising the quality of medical services and ensuring equal healthcare opportunities for all people regardless of their residence.
The Belarusian healthcare system is working to apply more high-tech projects and innovation technologies. There are plans to raise more investments, promote public-private partnership, expand the range of paid medical services, while preserving the opportunity to get free medical treatment. Belarus is also determined to increase the export of medical services fivefold by 2015 in comparison with the year 2010.
Belarusian Medical Achievements
In recent years organ transplantation has been vigorously developing in Belarus.
Belarusian surgeons transplant kidneys, bone marrow, livers, and hearts. They also graft stem cells and tissues, namely cornea, skin, and bone tissue. According to the World Health Organization, such surgeries demonstrate a high level of specialized medical aid in Belarus.
In April 2008 a group of surgeons from Minsk Teaching Hospital No. 9 performed the first liver transplant surgery in Belarus.
In 2009 Belarusian surgeons performed liver transplants on patients with malignant lesions of extrahepatic bile ducts, and a liver transplant on a teenager.
In 2010 Belarusian medical specialists started implanting transhepatic portal shunts on patients who are on a liver transplant waiting list. Shunts are installed to prevent the development of complications. In 2010, Belarusian surgeons performed the first living donor liver transplantation on a 2-year old kid.
In 2011 they performed a liver transplant on a 20-month-old baby. At present Belarusian specialists are able to perform an entire range of liver transplant surgeries.
In 2009 the first heart transplant surgery was successfully performed in the Cardiology Center. In June 2009 the first pancreas-kidney transplantation was carried out in Belarus. Such transplant surgeries are among the rarest in the world.
In January 2012 the first liver-kidney transplant surgery was performed in Belarus. Liver-kidney transplantations are rarely conducted worldwide.
In 2011 Belarusian specialists conducted 241 organ transplantations, including 175 kidney surgeries, 43 operations on liver, and 21 heart transplant surgeries.
Belarusian surgeons also succeeded in conducting high-tech kidney surgeries and laparoscopic operations to extract donor kidneys.
Belarusian specialists were the first in the world to perform surgeries on patients with disordered gastric emptying using a unique laparoscopic method which allows preserving and restoring gastric functions. In 2012 such surgeries were successfully conducted on two patients. In other countries surgeons usually resort to gastric ablation in such cases.
Belarusian traumatologists and orthopaedists performed the first endoprosthesis replacements of shoulder, ankle, and elbow joints. Neurosurgeons mastered endovascular interventions to treat patients with pathologies of cerebral and spinal vessels. They also use less traumatic microsurgical methods to remove brain tumors and apply stereotactic interventions to treat Parkinson’s disease.
Belarusian scientists developed a preparation against child leukaemia – Clofarabine. Clinical trials of Clofarabine demonstrated high efficacy of this medication for treating acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. The substance has low toxicity and better tolerance in comparison with similar medications. This allows extending life expectancy of children with a relapsed disease. The original method of synthesizing pharmaceutical substance for Clorafabine was patented by the NASB Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry.
The improvement of the Belarusian healthcare system helped reduce the number of people having to get medical treatment abroad. High-quality and inexpensive medical services provided in Belarus have given rise to medical tourism. In 2015 the export of medical services made up $33.2 million, while in 2010 it was just $9.1 million.