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Putin urges to make clear-cut list of free medical services

July 30, 2013, 14:45 UTC+3

A clear-cut list of free medical services and rules of providing them comprehensible to each patient are key to improving situation in healthcare, according to Russian President

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NOVO-OGAREVO, July 30 (Itar-Tass) - Russian President Vladimir Putin urged to make a clear-cut list of free medical services and to develop rules of providing these medical services that will be comprehensible for everyone.

“I would like to draw your attention to the fact that territorial programs of state guarantees should contain a clear-cut list of free medical services and the rules of providing them that will be comprehensible to each patient,” the President said at a meeting of the State Council over the quality and accessibility of medicine in Russian regions.

“The disarray in these issues results in corruption and bribery, makes people pay for services that are free of charge under the Russian Constitution and laws,” he said. “Finally the trust of people to the state and the authorities is undermined,” Putin pointed out.

The president said with confidence that it is indispensable "to make impossible the very opportunity of replacing free medical aid with the commercial one,” and there are a lot of similar cases now. “Over 70% of calls for toll services are made, people are almost unaware of the state guarantees program and the conditions for getting free medical aid,” Putin said with regret.

He called to provide the access of people to this information, “formulate it clearly, without any dubious interpretations so that everything will be transparent.”

When opening the meeting of Russian State Council over quality and accessibility of free medicine in regions on Tuesday, the Russian President stated that programs of free medical services lack of funding. The amount of underfunding exceeded 120 billion rubles in 54 regions this year, according to Vladimir Putin.

“The funding of free medical aid should correspond to the scope of this aid. If a specific range of services is guaranteed in the regional programs, but the allocations are not made for this, this means there are no guarantees,” the Russian leader underlined.

Ensuring the affordability of medical assistance is one of priority tasks for regions’ heads, Putin said.

“Heads of the regions, agencies in charge must pay close attention to its settlement by creating mobile health centers, developing medical aviation, adopting distant forms of medical assistance,” the President noted.

He added that “the main role in making medical assistance more accessible and of a better quality belongs to regions”. “This concerns their own initiatives, plus measures approved at federal level”.

Putin also said that, according to survey results, only one third of Russians are satisfied with level of healthcare services. The President noted that the respondents estimated the situation on the basis of their personal experience. “The situation is far from perfect in this sphere. Only 35.4% of people are satisfied with the level of medicine,” Putin underlined.

Vladimir Putin instructed the Health Ministry to work on the improvement of the compulsory health insurance system. “Our compulsory health insurance system is still below a civilized, modern level and did not become a health insurance system in the full sense of the word,” the Russian President said. He added that health insurers mainly play the role of mediators in monetary funds transfering.

“Meanwhile, they are not motivated for a higher quality of medical aid and bear almost no responsibility for it. I ask the Health Ministry to work on the improvement of compulsory health insurance system, we spoke about it many times,” Putin underlined.

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