International Conference on Integrated Home Care in Belarus: Learning Together to Improve Home Care for Everyone
On 19 September the Belarus Red Cross Society (BRC) in cooperation with the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection and the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Belarus, and with the support of the Swiss Red Cross, hosted an international conference entitled “Integrated home-based care: modern approaches and key challenges”. The event was the first of its kind in the region, and was attended by 160 participants from Belarus, Bulgaria, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Lithuania, Moldova, and Russia, as well as many international organisations active in the country and the region. High-level support came from the Belarussian Minister of Health, Mr. Vladimir Karanik, the Deputy Head of the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection Mr. Alexandr Rumak, as well as the General secretary of the Belarus Red Cross Mrs. Olga Mychko.
The aim of the conference was to bring together experiences from across Europe and discuss how integrated home care can work, while facing off common challenges like funding, accessibility, insufficient competencies or inexistent stakeholder relationships. The conference provided an opportunity to discuss the issues of ensuring the quality of life of elderly people and people with disabilities, to get acquainted with the best international practices of modern integrated and people-centered approach to care and the roles NGOs and volunteers. While IFIC members Mandy Andrews (Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland), Juan Carlos Contel (Generalitat de Catalunya), Nereide Curreri (Emerging Researchers and Professionals in Integrated Care), Andrea Pavlikova (Scottish Government), Merja Tepponen (EKSOTE Finland) and Viktoria Stein (International Foundation for Integrated Care) presented international examples, they also took with them new inspiration from the discussions with the participants and the speakers from the region. Once again, this event proved how invaluable opportunities like these are to create new networks, strengthen existing relationships, and push integrated care forward through shared learning experiences.