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Young medics unwilling to go to rural areas despite perks

March 15, 2012, 0:54 UTC+3

The number of those wishing to go to rural areas is no more than one thousand even though Tatyana Golikova expected five times more

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MOSCOW, March 15 (Itar-Tass) — Young medics who have been offered one million roubles for moving to rural areas are not so willing to go to work there as the government hoped, Minister of Health and Social Development Tatyana Golikova said.

She said the number of those wishing to go to rural areas is no more than one thousand even though her ministry expected five times more.

“When the program was launched, regions told us: this is a good way; a million will persuade everyone and all will go,” she said in an interview with Rossiiskaya Gazeta published on its website.

However “it turned out that it’s not as simple as that”.

“In December of last year we thought that about 5,000-6,000 young medics would decide to go. But since the beginning of year we have transferred money only for one thousand specialists,” Golikova said.

However, she admitted that “the programme is gradually gaining momentum” and “applies to those young specialists who moved to rural areas in 2011”, the minister added.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin earlier urged regions to redouble their efforts to support healthcare and attract young medics to rural areas.

“I ask you to pay special attention to the programme of attracting young medics to rural areas,” Putin said.

He confirmed that young specialists would be paid one million roubles under the programme.

At the same time, he noted that some regions offered such support only in a few instances.

This shows that [regional] leaders do not pay enough attention to this issue. It will take too long if we go at such a pace,” the prime minister said.

Under the programme of modernisation, a quarter of all funding would go to rural areas.

There is a shortage of more than 20,000 medics in rural areas. Putin suggested giving relocation allowances of one million roubles to medics who agree to move to such areas and work there.

“I suggest paying one million roubles in relocation allowance to every young specialist who comes to work in the countryside,” Putin said.

He believes that the money can be used by young specialists for resettlement, housing or other purposes.

“The only condition is that one should work [in a rural area] for at least five years. That would be fair,” Putin said, adding that the initiative would cost 11 billion roubles.

Other priorities include the reduction of the waiting list for high-tech surgeries and providing disabled people with less expensive wheelchairs. 

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