Prime Minister Vladimir Putin chairs a healthcare conference


Speaking about the draft law On the Fundamentals of Public Healthcare, Putin said that it is designed to regulate basic issues pertaining to the system of healthcare in Russia.

The conference was attended by Minister of Healthcare and Social Development Tatyana Golikova, President of the National Medical Chamber Leonid Roshal, Chairperson of the State Duma Healthcare Committee Olga Borzova, Chairman of the Healthcare Workers Trade Union Mikhail Kuzmenko and primary care physician Irina Aganina from the village of Kriushi in the Klepikovsky District of the Ryazan Region.

Vladimir Putin's opening address:

Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues,

I know that you are actively discussing the basics of public healthcare. These are very active discussions indeed! Honestly, I'm very glad the professional community and public organisations have actively joined in the discussion concerning healthcare problems.

This is a draft law that is designed to regulate basic issues pertaining to the organisation of the national healthcare system. There is a large number of unresolved issues here, and this is one of the fundamental documents that must create the conditions necessary for their resolution.

As I said, there are many issues. I'd like to address one of them separately, which is being constantly raised by the professional community, trade unions and public organisations in general. It has to do with the partial reimbursement of expenses on utilities and housing to federal medical workers in rural areas. Considering their modest salaries, I think this issue is well-justified and must be resolved. I'd like the Healthcare Ministry (I've already spoken to the Finance Minister) to make relevant proposals. At any rate, we must prepare a support system that could operate until the salaries of rural medical workers reach the industry average for a corresponding region. Ms Golikova, please submit your proposals together with the Finance Ministry.

This draft law also raises a number of other issues. Let me repeat that this debate is quite heated, and I'd like us to discuss some of these issues here today. This draft law also concerns the implementation of our programmes to upgrade healthcare and introduce new standards that are in turn closely linked with our plans to raise the salaries of medical workers. This is a very complicated issue, and the Healthcare Ministry and the government in general cannot change all standards overnight. Therefore, it is very important for us to determine where to focus our attention, what standards to change and in which regions. The level of salaries depends directly on this. We need to understand how this will play out in practice. This is the first issue.

The second issue was discussed several times. It is linked with the transfer of authority from the municipal to regional level. We must understand what will happen with property and with the delineation of responsibilities, who will be responsible for what, and ensure that no parallel systems are built. We don't need them – we must improve existing ones. We must not scatter money and must decide what will happen with property and how these issues will be resolved and regulated.

There is also a problem linked with non-profit organisations – medical associations that need to be authorised in order to regulate this activity at a certain stage, such as takes place in other countries' healthcare systems. Let's discuss all these issues today.

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