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14 Jan 2021

Minister reveals major amendments to public health law

Minister reveals major amendments to public health law
An archive photo

MINSK, 14 January (BelTA) – Healthcare Minister Dmitry Pinevich told reporters about the main amendments to the public health law following his meeting with Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko on 14 January where these amendments were discussed, BelTA has learned.

“In fact, this will be an absolutely new law,” Dmitry Pinevich noted. Half of the articles were amended. In addition, twelve new articles and two additional chapters were added – the one on information support in  healthcare and the one on social service procurement by the state.

According to the minister, the updated law confirms the efficiency of the chosen national healthcare model. It provides a legislative response to the current structural challenges, and lays a legal foundation for improving the system for a period of at least 7-9 years.

One of the key amendments seeks to improve the quality of healthcare management. The law introduces a new type of evaluation, namely the evaluation of the quality of healthcare services. The goal of pharmaceutical and economic evaluation is to select the most cost-effective and safe medical technologies.

The law expands the scope of the use of day-care units: their patients will be provided with medicines and medical products in the same way as hospital patients are in line with national protocols at the expense of the budget.

The law formalizes supervised treatment, i.e. regular provision of medicines to treat, under the supervision of doctors, certain diseases (e.g. tuberculosis, HIV, hepatitis C, multiple sclerosis). This will ensure the provision of medical care throughout the course of treatment, which is especially important for those who, due to alcohol abuse or other reasons, do not comply with doctor's advise, the Healthcare Ministry explained.

“An important issue is to improve the system of postgraduate training. The professional training of a healthcare worker is carried out throughout his/her entire career. It is a so-called continuous medical education. Introduction into narrow specialties (cardiac surgery, oncology, intensive care, anesthesiology) will be made through a three-year residency,” the minister said. The residency will replace the clinical residency and will allow changing specialization in order to fulfill the professional potential of a healthcare specialist.

The new law establishes the definition of a university clinic as an institution that combines medical and educational activities. The educational process and clinical work will be carried out jointly by the university academic staff and healthcare specialists of the clinic. A similar pilot project is implemented in Grodno. It has already shown its effectiveness, said Dmitry Pinevich.

The law creates conditions for the further implementation of e-healthcare. Plans are in place to launch a unified healthcare system in 2023. “It will contain people’s medical records. Everyone will have a personal medical profile,” Dmitry Pinevich explained. This will improve resource management and information exchange between healthcare workers.

In order to ensure safety of medical assistance and its compliance with the quality requirements, the amendments introduce medical accreditation of state-run healthcare facilities, which will assess their diagnostic and treatment capacities.

Healthcare workers will also be granted the right to professional risk, primarily concerning medical interventions relying on advanced technologies. “Any medical intervention poses a risk of complications. This can be attributed to various factors, for example, anatomic features. Such cases often result in misunderstanding and healthcare workers are blamed for that. However, under the amended law, a healthcare facility will be responsible for minimizing this risk. This will be part of the system of assessment of standards and criteria,” Dmitry Pinevich said.

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