Updated at 01:25,03-03-2021

Free healthcare disappearing in Belarus

Katsyaryna Yerusalimskaya, “Belsat”

Patients and staff of the main building at the Krychau central district hospital are at risk of getting under the rubble. The building is more than 60 years old. Floors on the second and third floor caved in which resulted in increased load from solution and tiles on the ceiling. To avoid the collapse of the ceiling, back in January this year, the ceiling was backed by a wooden structure. People have also been banned from using the hall.

“Working in the hospital in such conditions is dangerous. An emergency can occur any moment,” says Mikalay Herdziy, economic observer of the newspaper “Volny Horad”.

Intensive care and administration units available

Local authorities learned of the old hospital’s state already in 2010. It was decided to construct a new building. According to preliminary plans, the new hospital was to open already three years ago, but the construction process is still going on inside the building and no equipment has been purchased yet. Importantly, the new hospital was supposed to be a five-story building. As a result, only two floors are available — with intensive care and administration unit.

“Opening of the new block does not solve the healthcare issue or the issue of the treatment in the Central District Hospital of Krychau, because the main block is in disrepair. Authorities have promised to start repairing it. How can it be fixed? Where would the patients go?” said Mikalai Herdziy with indignation.

Where did $7 million for kindergarten go?

To find out the answer to this question, we turned to the management of the hospital, but the chief doctor Alyaksandr Plyatniou declined to comment. We were unable to get through to the city mayor Vasil Sysoyeu, either. It is important to note that two years ago a roof collapsed in a Krychau gymnasium. Then, fortunately, nobody was hurt.

Unfulfilled promises by the local authorities have become a tradition. Already back in July, there was to be launched a construction of the new kindergarten for 150 places with a swimming pool in a new neighborhood on the Kastrychnitskaya street. Unfortunately, it remained only in words, and the allocated for kindergarten $7 million were deployed for the construction of the same hospital. Meanwhile, the local residents are thinking how to put their children in kindergarten, when there are no places in the existing ones.

Apparently, the situation in the city is difficult. In addition to high unemployment and mass suspension of the Krichevsky enterprises, there is a lack of basic things. Krychau ranks last in the Mahiliou region in terms of living standards.