Dmitry Pinevich, the First Deputy Health Minister, tells us that the Health Ministry and the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection have placed details of the corresponding decree on the International Legal Internet Portal. He notes that the measure aims to be more convenient for patients, while easing the burden on state medical establishments.
Of course, for a medical centre to gain the right to issue sick-leave certificates, they need to meet several requirements, such as having a medical-consultative commission headed by a specially trained specialist. In addition, medical centres need to employ trained personnel and keep accounts. Mr. Pinevich stresses that issuing sick certificates is an integral part of medical services, so centres would not take any additional fee to issue them. They would lose their license if any case of charging for sick-leave certificates were to be identified. One set of rules now applies to state and private medical centres, with the former having a list of specialists permitted to issue sick certificates (as previously).
Around 1,700 private centres are eager to gain permission to issue sick-leave certificates so the Health Ministry plans to hold round table discussions, with representatives of major clinics in attendance. Although issuing such certificates would initially be an option rather than a duty for commercial centres, the Health Ministry would eventually insist on them introducing the service. Within a year, Belarus is to launch a single electronic database of patients, with a database of sick-leave certificates forming part of the system. Until then, eligibility for sick-leave certificate issuance will be controlled optionally.