17 february 2010

Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov holds a video conference to discuss the results of the implementation of the priority national projects Health, Education, Affordable and Comfortable Housing for Russians in 2009 and the projects’ blueprints for 2010


Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov's address at the meeting:

Ladies and gentlemen,

I am happy to greet all the participants of this videoconference in Moscow and in other Russian regions. I would like us to sum up the results of the implementation of the priority national projects Health, Education and Affordable and Comfortable Housing for Russians in 2009 and discuss the projects' blueprints for 2010-2012. Leaders of all constituent entities are participating in today's videoconference.

Today we will hear the reports of federal ministers and of eight regional leaders, specifically of the Republics of Altai and North Ossetia - Alania, and the Astrakhan, Vladimir, Nizhny Novgorod, Novgorod, Sakhalin and Tyumen regions. Therefore each federal district will be represented by one region.

Ladies and gentlemen, despite the economic challenges the country faced last year, the funding of the national projects was maintained, and even boosted in several areas. Moreover, we have found an opportunity to embark on new programmes to address the most acute problems in social services, such as promoting a healthy lifestyle, improving medical care of cancer patients and developing the system of distance education for children with disabilities.

The priority national projects remain one of the government's major priorities at the current stage.

On the whole, we successfully implemented the priority national projects in 2009. We managed to meet most of the planned figures. In a number of areas we have seen excellent results.

I would like to speak in more detail on each of the national projects.

Let me start with Health. Demographic figures reflect the effect of this national project the best.

Last year 1,764,164 children were born, which is 50,000, or 2.9% more than in 2008. Mortality rate fell by 62,000, or 3%, amounting to two million.

The natural decline in the population dropped by 31% in 2009; the Urals and Siberian Federal Districts saw the first natural increase in 19 years.

Life expectancy continued to grow in 2009, rising by 1.2 years and amounting to over 69 years for both men and women.

Preliminary data shows that in 2009 the population of the Russian Federation grew (by 23,000) for the first time in 15 years and totaled 141.927 million.

Diseases of the circulatory system remain the main causes of deaths, accounting for 56.1% of deaths in 2009. Several programmes were launched in 2008 in the framework of the Health national project to improve the medical services provided to people with cardiovascular diseases. We can see the first effect of these measures now: The number of deaths caused by diseases of the circulatory system decreased by 4.6% in 2009. Another 14 regions will join this programme this year.

Mortality rates declined for almost all diseases, except for tumors, where the number of deaths rose by 0.9%. In this regard, I would like to ask the Ministry of Healthcare and Social Development to focus on programmes to improve measures for raising the quality of medical aid for cancer patients, which we started in 2009.

We managed to reduce the number of deaths from external causes by 12.7%; in particular, the number of deaths caused by alcohol poisoning fell by 32%.

A total of 12 constituent entities participated in the programme focused on medical aid for people injured in road accidents. There was a significant decline in the number of such deaths, by some 15%. This year 22 more regions will join this programme.
The Federal Centre of Cardiovascular Surgery and the Federal Centre of Trauma Surgery opened in Astrakhan and Cheboksary, respectively.

A new standard of regular medical examinations for children during their first year of life was introduced, which made it possible to diagnose 30% (as against 2005) more congenital abnormalities and chromosomal disorders, 27% more nervous system diseases and 18% more eye disorders. In addition, 29% fewer children under 12 months died within 24 hours after being hospitalised.


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Now let us turn our attention to the Education priority national project. Over 11 billion roubles were allocated from the federal budget to pay teachers bonuses for class supervision. Taking into account all extra payments and copayments provided by regional governments, bonuses grew from 1,995 roubles to 2,050 roubles. Bonuses encouraged teachers to devote more time to out-of-class activities, which resulted in a lower number of students who repeat a year at school and of school-aged children who do not attend a school.

In October the results of a competitive selection were summed up and 12 higher education institutions earned the status of national research universities. The programmes to develop the National Nuclear Research University and the National Technology Research University were launched, which is another step forward in the development of higher education.

Each of the 10,000 teachers who won the competitive selection activities was presented with 100,000-rouble awards. This year the award amount will be raised to 200,000 roubles.

Over 5,000 winners of international, Russian and regional contests received monetary awards in the framework of the programme to support talented young people. This programme will be continued in the framework of the national initiative Our New School.
We have started work on setting up a system of distance education for children with disabilities. A total of 64 distance training centres were set up, employing 130 teachers online. This programme is intended to provide distance education to 3,166 children with disabilities.

The end goal of this effort is to provide education to all 35,000 children with disabilities. I would like to ask federal executive bodies and regional governments to prioritise this issue.

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Now moving on to the priority national project Affordable and Comfortable Housing for Russians. We have managed to avert a slump in commissioned housing rates. A total of 59.8 million square metres of housing were commissioned in 2009, which comprises 93.3% of the previous year's figure, as compared with the 16% fall in the amount of work in the sphere of construction in 2009.
Furthermore, the individual housing construction industry saw a considerable growth of 4.3%, in contrast to a drop in industrial housing construction volumes. I would like to remind you that the share of individual housing construction already totals 47.8% in Russia.

The Federal Fund for Housing Construction launched construction on 2,200 hectares of land in 2009 to build over 5 million square metres of housing there. The fund is planning to increase this figure to 12 million square metres in 2010.
The Housing and Utilities Reform Fund advanced housing construction in the framework of the programme to relocate people from dilapidated housing, allocating subsidies to regional governments to allow them to complete the construction projects at the final stage.

Over 96,000 families with children took advantage of the authorisation to use maternity capitals ahead of schedule to pay off their mortgages. As you know, since January 1 families have been allowed to spend their maternity (family) capitals on anything they deem necessary; all restrictions were lifted. Some 102 billion roubles have been appropriated in the federal budget to continue this programme next year.

Federal budget funds were used to allow over 20,000 young families to improve their housing conditions in the framework of the pertinent sub-programme for providing housing to young families in 2009.

I would like to comment on the plan to provide housing to World War II veterans and people who received disabilities in combat during that war. We have improved the housing conditions of almost 23,000 veterans. We must provide housing to all veterans right on time, whether they registered before March 1, 2005 or after. I am asking regional leaders to prioritise this issue.

Closing remarks

In closing, I would like to draw your attention to the measures to improve the housing conditions of World War II veterans and people who received disabilities in combat during that war. I am asking regional leaders to monitor this personally.

Please bear in mind that all tender procedures in the framework of the priority national projects must be held in time.

I would like to thank everyone for participation.