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A delegation from Belarus: Volha Marshalka (Ministry of Health of the Republic of Belarus, Head of Human Resources and Education Policy department), Anatol Shchastny (Vitebsk State Medical University, Rector), Viktor Snezhitskiy, (Grodno State Medical University, Rector), Maryna Surmach (Grodno State Medical University, Head of Public Health department) and Andrei Famenka (WHO Country Office in Belarus, Project coordinator) came to the Faculty of Medicine of Vilnius University for the first time in order to strengthen cooperation between Lithuania and Belarus in the field of health science. This official visit was organized on behalf of the Institute of Health Science of the Faculty of Medicine at Vilnius University (coordinator – Natalja Fatkulina, PhD, Professor) and WHO County office in Belarus.

“We are glad to share significant experience and knowledge not only about studies of health science and nursing at Vilnius University with our colleagues from neighboring Belarus. It was also important to organize the agenda in such a way that our guests could get the most information possible about the health system in general, at all levels, starting from the primary health care at clinics till the third level of health care in Lithuania: University clinics. In addition to that, we tried to give them the opportunity to meet our politicians, famous organizers of medical education and health care, and the highest level professionals”, Professor Fatkulina said. Belarusian colleagues met with the dean of the Faculty of Medicine, prof. Algirdas Utkus and discussed future cooperation plans and financial, technical and organizational aspects of medical studies.

“We would like to give our sincere thanks to professor Fatkulina, professor Utkus and other Lithuanian colleagues for sharing the knowledge about the structure, financing, regulation and organization, function of university-level medical education and of health system in Lithuania and Europe. We have learned about professional development for doctors and nurses. And, most importantly, about the University Clinic. We do not have such clinics in our country, but have a huge desire to establish one”, Volha Marshalka, a representative from Ministry of Health of the Republic of Belarus, stated.

The entire delegation expressed great interest in the very modern Nursing study program that started just this academic year at the Faculty of Medicine and confirmed that Vilnius University is renowned for its study programs in Belarus and across Europe. Furthermore, the guests shared their plans of having university clinics in their country.

20191022 101403Delegation from Belarus meeting prof. Juozas Raisteskis and prof. Natalja Fatkulina, 2019.

Medical education is considered to be one of the most prestigious in Belarus. Medical universities and colleges require consistently high scores and passing of difficult exams. The higher medical education institutions in The Republic of Belarus are recognized worldwide and provide contemporary training for future doctors. Belarus has a long history and profound traditions in the sphere of medicine. Moreover, its huge strive for progress, as well as significant intellectual potential of the professionals working in the field, allow Belarus to be highly regarded in medical science and education of the 21st century.

Belarus, a country with a population of 10 million people, has 4 medical universities. The Belarusian State Medical University is a university with a rich history, best practices and world authority. Vitebsk State Medical University trains doctors and pharmacists, annually organizes internships for students in partner medical universities. Gomel State Medical University is a young but authoritative university in Belarus. Grodno State Medical University is a modern university that provides high-quality medical education. Students from more than 70 countries of the world study 8 different medical specialties. There is also a large network of medical colleges and institutions for postgraduate studies. In colleges nursing and doctor assistance are the most popular specialties.

Not only did the Director of the Institute Health Science dr. Natalja Fatkulina organize an intensive internship agenda, but also took care of the delegation’s cultural-educational programme. “In my opinion, the most valuable thing was that our guests felt captivated by the achievements of our University’s academic education (especially of our new Nursing study programme) and the country’s health system (Vilnius University Hospital Santaros Clinics, Centro Clinic, etc.).” They visited the historic places of Vilnius University: the ancient ALMA MATER auditoriums and University courtyards. They also had a tour at the Museum of the History of Medicine of the Faculty of Medicine.

The guests from Belarus hope to continue fruitful collaboration with Vilnius University in the nearest future. They were also very glad to see the wonderful country of Lithuania and meet the people who were friendly, hospitable and proud of their country and history, which has a lot in common with Belarus.

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