Hospitals in Minsk overcrowded with heart-disease patients
22 января 2013, 19:51
Patients in cardiology wards have to spend several days in corridors to wait for free beds.
Euroradio has checked if there are enough beds in Minsk hospitals.
"Four people are lying in the corridor, because there are not enough beds," medical staff at the Minsk Hospital No 2 tell the Euroradio reporter. The majority of patients are people aged over 60 years old.
The Minsk Hospital No 2, located in Engels Street, resembles a palace from outside. An unexperienced visitor can easily get lost in there. Everything is clean inside: speedy elevators, panoramic corridors. The rooms are spacious and shiny.
But people lie in corridors.
Four people (in the corridor) is not critical. At the Municipalа Intensive Care Hospital's Cardiology Ward patients have to lie not only on hospital beds but just in benches.
"Where are there enough beds today? They don't build new hospitals, they are only making plans," medical staff complains. they note the situation does not get better year after year.
"First of all, the season started after the New Year celebrations. Many people are admitted. They don't complain, because this is a no way-out situation. They agree to spend some time in corridors only to be admitted anyway."
People normally spend one or two days in the corridor after admission and are later transferred to a ward room. Usually, patients are admitted for up to 10 days if the condition is not critical.
The medical staff at Hospital No 5, when asked about the shortage of beds, just takes a sigh: "Only now before the weekend, we have a bit unloaded the corridors and put the patients into rooms."
The staff at Hospital No 9 says things were better during the Soviet Union times.
"Can you imagine? This is like at war. People have to lie and stand and even sit to take a drip," two nurses complain, asking not to mention their names.
The tension is caused by the introduction of paid services:
"Everyone tries to get to Minsk for treatment, because doctors are better here. Hence not enough beds."
Another resason is the general deterioration of Belarusians' health: "Patients have become very young.... 25-30 years old with heart attacks. Recently, there was a young woman, 25 years old... People are breaking down. They have to work at three jobs in order to earn money."