The agenda includes the temporary suspension of penalties for unpaid utility bills, a new sick leave procedure, medical care and medicine market regulation amid the threat of the coronavirus spread.
Mikhail Mishustin’s opening remarks:
Good morning, colleagues,
Let’s get down to work.
The coronavirus pandemic has dramatically affected people’s lives, disrupting their daily routines and often digging deep into their pockets. Ironing out these negative developments is the Government’s top priority, so we will continue to take additional support measures.
First, we will help low-income households. One of the resolutions I approved is to introduce new rules to provide them with utility bill subsidies. We will extend their entitlement to such benefits without additional confirmation for the next six months up until 1 October 2020. Also, all Russia’s residents, regardless of their income level, will see a temporary moratorium introduced on penalties for unpaid utility bills including gas, electricity, heating, water, sewage and residential rubbish collection. The utility services will not be cut off in the case of missed bill payments. No interest will be charged either on late payments for housing repairs or utilities. The grace period will become effective the moment the executive order is published through 1 January 2021. Also, these months will not be included in the calibration interval for metering devices.
On 20 March, the Government approved a new sick leave procedure for people returning from foreign countries or sharing a flat with such a person. More than 36,000 Russians have already used this simplified procedure. Residents of Moscow, the Moscow Region and St Petersburg applied for quarantine-related electronic sick leave notes more often than residents of other regions. A sick leave note can be obtained from the comfort of your own home. All you have to do is access the Social Insurance Fund’s website and fill out an application form with a scan of your documents confirming the fact you were on a trip. Unlike the normal procedure, a person will receive the first payment in just five business days under quarantine. The second payment will come in 14 days, after the quarantine.
Payments for such sick leave will not be coming from employer's funds. The Social Insurance Fund will make a payment directly to a person under quarantine. This will help businesses keep hold of their funds at all times.
An even more straightforward procedure for issuing sick leave notes under quarantine is in effect for working people over 65. The Social Insurance Fund will issue sick leave for this category of employees at their employer’s request from 6 April to 19 April. Payment will be sent to the employee’s bank card on the 7th day after issuing a sick leave note also directly from the fund, without tapping into the employer's funds.
Another executive order regulates medical care to be provided amid the threat of the novel coronavirus infection. Right off the bat, anyone who may ever need emergency medical care will get it. Patients with serious diseases, including cancer or cardiovascular and endocrine system diseases, as well as patients using dialysis treatment, will continue to be treated as needed.
Medical care is still provided under the compulsory health insurance (CHI) policy. We will extend the validity of the temporary policies for those who did not have the chance to have this document issued or re-issued.
The CHI will also be used to pay for the coronavirus lab tests.
We will suspend only preventive treatment, such as scheduled medical checkups, because of the risk of exposure to COVID-19 carriers. Doctors will be prescribing lab and other tests and go about planned hospitalisations.
With regard to the market for medicine and medical goods, the Government is now entitled to regulate the medicine market. If necessary, we will cut the time required to register a particular medication or medical product, or modify the procedure for using unregistered medicine and further regulate the pricing for critical and essential medicine. The governing by-laws have been approved.
Now let's get down to work.