The health of the nation is the priority of the state policy of Belarus and the basis of the country's national security. In the year 2009, in the difficult social and economic conditions, the healthcare system remained public. The volume and quality of free healthcare services remained at previous levels. Belarus is the CIS leader in healthcare spending. In 2009 healthcare expenses accounted for 4.03 percent of GDP.
Healthcare services are provided by healthcare institutions subordinate to the Ministry of Health. In addition to state-run institutions, medical care is also provided by departmental agencies and privately-owned (non-state) healthcare companies.
For the past 12 years the infant mortality rate in Belarus has reduced from 13.3 percent in 1995 to 4.7 percent in 2009. It is one of the lowest in the CIS and is close to the levels in the most economically developed countries.
National research and practical centers were established, each representing a complex of multifunctional departments. There are now 14 such centers: Cardiology, Mother and Child, Child's Oncology and Hematology, Radiation Medicine and Human Ecology, and others. Transplantation of organs and tissues as the pinnacle of the highly-qualified specialized medical care was further developed in the country.
For the first time in the history of Belarusian surgery, a pancreas-kidney surgery and two liver transplantation operations on children were successfully performed.
Sanitary and epidemiologic examination of the population in Belarus is performed by a network of state-owned healthcare 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 region hygiene and epidemiology centers.
Considering the danger of HIV spread, the National AIDS Prevention and Counteraction Center has been created.
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 2009, 1.309 million people, including 817,000 children aged between 3 and 18 (115,000 are from the Chernobyl-hit areas), went to recuperate in local health farms. Some
129,900 foreigners, most of them from Russia, visited Belarusian health resorts in
For more information on the recreation services provided by Belarusian health resorts, please visit the websites of the following organizations: TsentrKurort (www.otpusk.by), Belagrozdravnitsa (www.agrozdrav.by) and Belprofsoyuzkurort (www.kurort.by).