In her speech at the conference, Minister of Healthcare Veronika Skvortsova pointed to the fundamental importance of developing the rural healthcare system, saying that 26% of the Russian population lives in rural areas. She said that healthcare services must be as accessible as possible for rural residents and that healthcare centres must be located close to where people live. Skvortsova said that the Ministry had discussed the structure of regional healthcare provision with each region, taking into account the specifics of each district. That is why rural healthcare programmes differ from one another, though they do also have common elements. The first stage entails developing a three-tier system of comfortable and easily accessible essential healthcare services. The next stage includes developing municipal and regional medical centres providing skilled specialist medical assistance. And finally, federal healthcare facilities will offer high-tech medical services. “These must all be available to everyone, from preventive treatment to high-tech medical services, if and when required,” Skvortsova said.
The conference participants also discussed the issue of medical staff. Minister Skvortsova recalled that the Rural Doctor programme helped attract 7,800 doctors to rural areas in 2012 and there are plans to attract 5,000 more doctors this year. The Minister urged the regional authorities to ensure that all young people sent to receive medical education in big cities returned to their regions after they graduate.
Skvortsova also spoke about plans to change the system of distributing the wage fund. The Ministry of Healthcare is working together with trade unions to review the system of determining the working hours of healthcare workers. “The base salary must make up the bulk of the wage fund and its size must be appropriate, based on the amount of work done by medical professionals,” the Minister emphasised.
During a working visit to the Belgorod Region, the Minister of Healthcare visited the central district hospital in the town of Stroitel and a community healthcare centre in the village of Ternovka, which offers healthcare services to 2,500 people living in four villages. During the visit to the hospital in Stroitel, Veronika Skvortsova held a trial videoconference with the vascular surgery department of the regional hospital and research centre.
Source: Ministry of Healthcare