The readiness of the healthcare system to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus infection in Russian regions.
Excerpts from the transcript:
Mikhail Mishustin: Good afternoon. Today, at our videoconference, we will discuss the readiness of the healthcare system to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus infection in Russian regions, including providing medical facilities with all the necessary equipment. The President gave the corresponding instruction, and the Government set the deadline of 28 April. We have less than a week to complete this instruction. Today's results are hardly satisfactory.
At the end of January, given the possible risks of the spread of the coronavirus infection, we took a number of proactive measures, including closing the border with China. Then we asked the heads of Russian regions for information on the readiness of medical institutions and calculations for the provision of financial assistance, which is needed to expand the number of beds. According to the calculations provided, the Government allocated over 33 billion roubles to repurpose beds at medical facilities.
Unfortunately, despite the seriousness of the situation, many regional leaders did not give much care to this task. The calculations of some regions have not been confirmed at all. This meant in March we had to clarify the needs for providing and equipping beds stocks. We quite quickly responded to clarifications and additional financial requests from the regional heads. On 17 April, we not only allocated an additional 32 billion roubles to the regions, but also expanded the possible uses of these funds, including the installation of special medical equipment and the purchase of personal protective equipment for medical staff.
At the same time, the process of dispersing the allocated funds is moving at an unacceptably slow pace; some regions have dispersed less than 10 percent. It is necessary to quickly pick up the pace. The regions should be well-prepared to provide qualified care to patients.
Colleagues, let me draw your attention to the fact that, in accordance with the President’s instruction, every region must form medical teams that are ready to treat patients with the coronavirus. I would ask you personally to make sure that there are enough doctors and nursing staff for this purpose. And if necessary, please involve employees of medical universities and colleges who are ready to work with such patients.
In addition, a number of Russian regions are struggling to provide medical facilities with personal protective devices and equipment.
Let us discuss the reason for the delays in this work and the difficulties in fulfilling these instructions.