24 april 2013

Meeting of the Government Commission on Healthcare

The Government Commission on Healthcare, established by Government Resolution No. 1018 of October 8, 2012, coordinates the actions of related executive agencies to develop and implement federal healthcare policy.

Prevention is a major part of the healthcare system and includes measures to safeguard public health and promote healthy lifestyles, prevent the occurrence and spread of diseases as well as determine the causes and conditions thereof, and ensure early detection.

The World Health Organization has identified seven major risk factors contributing to premature death among the Russian population, including high blood pressure (35.5%), high cholesterol (23%), smoking (17.1%), inadequate intake of fruits and vegetables (12.9%), obesity (12.5%), alcohol abuse (11.9%), and inadequate physical activity (9%).

In April 2011, the First Global Ministerial Conference on Healthy Lifestyles and Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs) adopted the Moscow Declaration whose signatories committed themselves to pursuing national strategies to promote healthy lifestyles and prevent NCDs.

Pursuant to Presidential Executive Order No. 598 of May 7, 2012, On Improving State Healthcare Policy, the Government is responsible for guiding work aimed at encouraging Russian citizens to pursue a healthy lifestyle, including promoting healthy eating habits, sports and recreation programmes, and prevention of alcoholism, drug addiction and smoking.

Federal authorities are responsible for implementing unified state policy in the sphere of healthcare.

The supply of safe and quality food products is the joint responsibility of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Industry and Trade. The Federal Service for Supervision of Consumer Protection and Welfare (Rospotrebnadzor) oversees the quality and safety of food products. Economic issues – such as pricing and taxation policies for consumer products that incentivise healthy lifestyles and increase the responsibility of businesses for public health – are the joint responsibility of the Finance Ministry, the Federal Service for Alcohol Market Regulation, the Ministry of Economic Development and the Ministry of Healthcare.

Civic organisations, businesses, and representatives of various religious denominations also take part in efforts to address wellness and healthcare issues.

Currently, 60 Russian regions are implementing regional targeted programmes to prevent non-communicable diseases and promote healthy lifestyles. Such programmes are under development in 23 other Russian regions.

The following measures are being taken to encourage healthy lifestyles, including promoting healthy eating habits, sports and recreation programmes, and prevention of alcoholism, drug and tobacco addiction:

- implementing comprehensive information and education programmes on healthy lifestyles for different groups of people;

- developing and implementing mechanisms to encourage people to lead healthy lifestyles;

- promoting physical fitness and sport;

- ensuring food safety and promoting healthy eating habits;

- ensuring a healthy environment;

- disease and sanitation control;

- providing safe working conditions.

State programmes in the spheres of healthcare, education, physical fitness and sport, culture, and environmental protection are a key component of the effort to develop and implement preventive measures.

The state programme Healthcare Development (Government Directive No. 2511-p of December 24, 2012) includes the sub-programme Preventing Diseases and Promoting Healthy Lifestyles, which contains measures designed to raise awareness about health risks, incentivise and create the necessary conditions for leading healthy lifestyles, as well as reduce risk factors for non-communicable diseases.

Based on the state programme Healthcare Development, a series of measures designed to improve medical care were approved by Government Directive No. 267-r of February 28, 2013. Measures include developing and implementing an information and communication strategy to promote healthy lifestyles and fight the use of alcohol and tobacco.

The state programme Promoting Physical Fitness and Sport (Government Directive No. 402-p of March 20, 2013) includes measures to incentivise people and create the necessary conditions for them to be physically active and lead healthy lifestyles, and to develop sport facilities, including for people with disabilities.

The state programme Environmental Protection (Government Directive No. 2552-p of December 27, 2012) aims to address environmental safety and health issues by meeting Russia's obligations under international treaties and conventions it has signed.