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Medvedev: Medicine in Russia to remain mostly free

December 24, 2013, 11:12 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The prime minister said other more sophisticated forms of rendering medical aid were being developed, including medical aviation

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© ITAR-TASS/Dmitry Astakhov

MOSCOW, December 24. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has pledged in his video blog that medicine in Russia will remain free of charge on the whole.

The prime minister said at his recent session he had instructed the Healthcare Ministry, the Compulsory Medical Insurance Fund and local authorities to thoroughly monitor the quality of medical services and the way these services were being financed by the state “so that the money reach concrete clinics and thus, concrete people”. “We will be stricter controlling the work of insurance companies that also receive budget money,” Medvedev said in the video blog recorded during his visit to the Federal Neurosurgery Centre in Tyumen, Siberia, on December 20.

“Besides, people are of course afraid medical aid won’t come timely. However, recent data shows that emergency ambulances are now operating quicker and arrive quicker than several years ago, first of all because of a big number of vehicles and first aid teams,” he said.

The prime minister said other more sophisticated forms of rendering medical aid were being developed, including medical aviation and other means that were particularly important in hard-of-access regions of the country.

Of course, “all problems in the healthcare sector cannot be solved in a jiffy,” he said, adding that “the state will keep developing the healthcare system”. “Even in most difficult times we have always found and will keep finding money for the healthcare sector, for health protection. And this policy is already yielding results,” the prime minister said. He said the number of patients getting high tech medical assistance from the federal budget had grown more than eight times since 2006, from 60,000 patients to 500,000 patients a year in 2013. A total of 2.3 million people have received such aid in the past eight years. A total of 350,000 children suffering complex disorder, have received high tech treatment, he continued. “We plan to increase the number of high tech surgeries 1.5 times within two years,” Medvedev said.

He also cited State Statistics Committee data that births exceeded deaths by 17,000 people between January and October this year. “This is a very important figure for us, as figures were very sad before that as you know,” he said.

The prime minister said 23 perinatal centers had been built in Russia and there would be more than 30 such centers in three years. This and other measures have made it possible to increase births, with more than 1.5 million babies born in Russia in the first ten months of this year, an almost 5,000 increase year-on-year. “At the same time we see a decline in child mortality, which is also a very important factor. This figure has strongly declined practically in half of our country’s regions,” he stated.

The prime minister also said a large number of healthcare facilities had been updated in the country. The program of ‘county doctors’ was launched, drawing about 8,000 young doctors in rural areas. “Earlier there were no motivations for that,” Medvedev added.

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