Review of acute care and rehabilitation services for heart attack and stroke in Belarus (2017)
Reduced life expectancy at birth is a major public health concern in Belarus. As part of an exploration of premature mortality, a WHO review of acute and rehabilitative services for heart attack and stroke was undertaken in September 2016.
The review found that although health systems are in transition, significant progress and investment in infrastructure and human resources have already been made. Geographical disparities exist, however, and regional networks need to be further developed.
Gains in acute care are at risk of being undermined, particularly by poor tobacco and alcohol control, and lack of identification and management of cardiovascular risk factors. Clinical guidelines and drug formularies need to be updated, and lifesaving drugs made available. Timeliness and appropriateness of care need to be measured and improved. A more patient-centred approach and better use of resources could be achieved through the widespread use of clinical scales. Participation in international registries could give Belarus the opportunity to benchmark performance. Civil society should be empowered to participate in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases and implementation of evidence-based medicine in the system of care.
Looking ahead, while a roadmap for cardiology services has been developed, there is also a need for a comprehensive, integrated monitored roadmap for stroke care.