A hospital with 8 beds of around-the-clock stay has resumed work since January 2019 in the urban village of Bogushevsk in the Senno district, the status of a polyclinic has been returned to the ambulant clinic, and an ambulance car has been transferred to the village from the district center.
These decisions were made on December 14, 2018 during a meeting of local residents and an on-site audit of A.Popkov, the chairman of the Permanent Commission of the Council of the Republic on Regional Policy and Local Self-Government, representatives of the Vitebsk regional executive committee, the Senno district executive committee and the district council of deputies, the Bogushevsk village council of deputies, the head physician of the Senno Central District Hospital. The meeting was attended by 65 people. “All this is the result of the struggle of local residents for the preservation of medical facilities in the village. The authorities were forced to meet the citizens' requirements and canceled the earlier decision,” - comments Vasil Berasneu, the representative of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee for Orsha and the region.
In October 2018, the authorities of the Senno district transferred the Bogushevsk district hospital with around-the-clock beds to the status of a nursing care hospital with daycare, and made an ambulant clinic out of the polyclinic. Hospital places of around-the-clock stay, the polyclinic and the ambulance car were transferred to the Senno Central District Hospital about 40 km from Bogushevsk.
The main argument was the cuts in the health care funding in the Senno district. The decision was made without any discussion with the local residents, despite the hospital and the polyclinic serving more than 7100 thousand residents of Bogushevsk and the surrounding villages.
The Bogushevsk residents considered it a violation of their rights and made a spontaneous rally for the preservation of medical facilities in the urban village on October 18. The representative of BHC Vasil Berasneu also participated in the action as an observer. According to him, having decided to change the status of the hospital and close the polyclinic, the district authorities violated a number of international human rights documents and national legislation.
In particular, paragraph 1 of Art. 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, paragraph 1 of article 12 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, general comment No. 14 “The right to the highest attainable standard of health”, and also art. 45 of the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus, art. 4 of the Law "On Health Care", Art. 9 of the Law “On Minimum State Standards”, Decree of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus dated 09.11.2018, No. 802 on the standards for providing the adult population with doctors, ambulance crews.
Not only do these regulations guarantee the citizens the right to the highest attainable standard of health and access to medical services, but they also ensure the residents must receive information and participate in decision-making on all health-related issues. The human rights activist also reminded that Belarus adopted the UN Sustainable Development Goals in 2015 . As a part of the goal №3, “Good health and well-being,” by 2030, Belarus has committed to “ensure health and well-being for all.” With the assistance of the BHC representative, an initiative group from Bogushevsk prepared collective appeals. One of them - to the Presidential Administration and the Vitebsk Regional Executive Committee with the demands to keep the hospital and the polyclinic - is available on the website “Convenient City.” More than 1000 residents of the urban village and neighboring villages signed the appeals.
Due to the fact that under the Law “On Appeals of Citizens and Legal Entities”, collective appeals of thirty or more applicants are subject to review with an on-site visit, a representative delegation was sent to Bogushevsk. At the meeting with residents, in addition to the decision on medical institutions, the authorities announced the decision to include Bogushevsk in the regional program for the improvement of urban villages in 2019.