Taking Care of People’s Health

Throughout the centuries, medicine has been developing in a pretty dramatic way. At the forefront of the fight for human life there have always been people with a fanatic dedication to their job. And Minsk of the XIX-XX centuries provides a clear illustration to this.

One Doctor per 1,000 Patients

Medical care in Minsk was of a better quality than that of other cities of Belarus, but still it was not enough. In 1913, in the city with 100,000 residents there were 23 hospitals, 85 doctors, 8 medical officers, 41 dentists, 42 assistants, 45 dentists, 88 midwives, and 19 masseurs. The growth of health services failed to catch up with the population growth. If in 1890 there were 1,173 inhabitants per one doctor, in 1904 this figure rose to 1,644. Private hospitals were also playing their part – in Minsk in 1911 there were 15 of them.

Saving People’s Lives

Among numerous doctors working in Minsk in 1870s-1910s real devotees of their business should be mentioned – Sigismund Sventsitsky, Otton Fedorovich and Fedor Kodis.

Sigismund Sventsitsky mastered all the methods of surgical treatment of the time, had a good operative technique and used the method of local anesthesia. He designed a medical instrument used in bone fractures and large arteries injuries treatment. His house has survived until now – it is a building at the intersection of Karl Marx and Lenin Streets, 30/13.

Otton Fedorovich performed successful complex operations of crane and mastoid trepanning, thyroid treatment, tracheotomy, plastic surgeries, etc. Some of them were done in Minsk for the first time.

MD Fedor Kodis, for the first time in Minsk, performed an ureters transplant operation, and in 1916 he introduced to the professional medical community a 7-year-old patient with an artificial bladder.

Where were Minsk Hospitals Located?

A few buildings that used to host hospitals have survived in Minsk. The 3rd City Clinic named after Klumov can now be found in 30, Lenin Street – previously known as 52, Governor’s Street. A Jewish hospital used to be located there, opened in 1828.

The City Clinical Infectious Diseases Hospital is situated in 76, Kropotkin Street. Once it was called “City Highly Contagious Diseases Hospital”. The hospital used to have a steam heating, electrical ventilation, sewerage, a mechanical laundry (a novelty for those days) and a disinfection ward.

In Bogdanovich Street, close to the Trinity suburb, there are the oldest buildings of the 2nd City Clinical Hospital – previously known as the County District Hospital. It can really be called the oldest – the hospital was founded in 1796.

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