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Meeting with Head of the Federal Medical-Biological Agency Vladimir Uyba

September 13, 2019, The Kremlin, Moscow

Vladimir Putin had a working meeting with Head of the Federal Medical-Biological Agency Vladimir Uyba.

The FMBA Head updated the President on the implementation of his instructions and the operations of the field hospital established in flood affected Irkutsk Region.

* * *

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, Mr Uyba.

Head of the Federal Medical-Biological Agency Vladimir Uyba: Mr President, I have come to report on the implementation of your instructions.

One of the most important instructions, which we have implemented, we are pleased to say, is the establishment of the Medical Radiology Centre, or the Nuclear Medicine Centre as people call it, in Dimitrovgrad.

It is a unique centre and the world’s largest to date, with a floor space of 105,000 square metres, where every metre is unique. It is important that this centre combines all the medical radiology methods currently used in the world, and all of them are available at this centre.

This is a vital feature, because people need to travel half the world or half the country to receive medical treatment, which means that they may not have enough time to complete their treatment. However, our “one-stop-shop” centre offers all current technologies in one place.

The most important part is the Proton Therapy Centre, where we can save up to 1,200 people annually. Proton therapy is the only method for treating tumours.

Vladimir Putin (looking at some papers): What do your markers here represent?

Vladimir Uyba: The first marker signifies the parts that are functioning and the second marker – those still under construction.

We have started in earnest, that is, by filing a request for the biggest centre. This is very good, for, as I said, the demand for this method of treatment is very big.

As for proton therapy methods, it is the most widely used method of treatment for ailments of the brain and eye tumours in the world.

I can assure you that this is not a photoshopped image, this is the real thing. We are building in three stages, because it is impossible to complete an area of 105,000 square metres in one go.

First, we completed the construction and assembly stages. The third stage implies the installation of medical equipment. We have not only completed the first two stages but have also received the necessary medical licences.

In fact, we have selected the first group of 140 patients to receive treatment on a proton accelerator. The first eight patients will start this treatment on September 20.

Vladimir Putin: So soon?

Vladimir Uyba: Yes, in a matter of days. Therefore, it would be wonderful if you added a visit to the centre to your agenda for September or October. This would be marvellous.

Vladimir Putin: All right.

Vladimir Uyba: The second point also has to do with your instruction – the musk deer, also is a very beautiful story.

The work is now in progress. The deadline is 2022. So far, we have two sites.

One, as you know, is in Ust-Koksa, which is where musk deer are bred in their natural habitat. You also know of the attempts to relocate this site. We could relocate, only the musk deer would stop reproducing.

Today there are two experimental sites where they do breed. The first one, you know, is run by Mikhail Chechushkov on Lake Teletskoye; the other one is Ust-Koksa. Moreover, we have now united these two sites both in terms of research and breeding.

Today the musk deer population is 70 animals; 16 young ones were born this year. This is great. And we have already collected one kilo of physiological musk. We do not kill the animals of course, but physiologically milk the musk from a sedated animal.

About both sites’ development. In Ust-Koksa, the biggest and most important achievement is the new road – up until recently, 15 kilometers of taiga had to be negotiated to reach the area where musk deer live. We have now entered the greenfield stage of the project, as you can see from the pictures.

This part will be the most interesting for me and other scientists. Why? Because it will involve all the breeding work and collecting musk. It will be certified on the site, and then we will transport the certified musk to Moscow. And to Moscow Region – to the Svetlye Gory biotechnology centre, where we will make pharmaceuticals based on it.

I can say that today we are in the third phase here. Although it is a dietary supplement, nevertheless we go through the entire certification routine, including clinical trials, as required. Today we are in the third phase, close to completion.

Vladimir Putin: How is security organised there?

Vladimir Uyba: Security is mainly required to protect the animals from the human threat. We recruit security guards mainly from local men, with good recommendations.

As a rule, they have served either in security forces, or the Interior Ministry, retired for various reasons. They retire early, at the age of 40–45.

So we select trusted men, because wild animals are not the main threat: a bear might wander to the place in spring, you scare it, and it goes away. But the two-legged beasts are a problem. We are dealing with it.

For the most part, we are doing fine, 2022 is our deadline. I think I will be happy to report to you then that we have completed the project.

Now about the emergencies in Irkutsk Region…

Vladimir Putin: Do you need any help?

Vladimir Uyba: We have a hospital there, which performs 10–15 operations every day. That is, we are shouldering the entire surgical load in Nizhneudinsk, because the main hospital is flooded – the building where the operating theatres are.

The mobile hospital was set up on July 1 on your instruction, with two operating theatres, two intensive care wards, and a bandaging room. It is fully staffed, with surgeons from all over the country, from our federal cities, anesthetists, and surgical and ICU nurses.

We save from 10 to 15 people every day, operating, feeding, etc. As of July 1, 600 people have been operated on.

Vladimir Putin: Absolutely amazing. How many specialists are working there?

Vladimir Uyba: The mobile hospital staff includes 40 people. We rotate them, that is, they work for a month, and then rotate. This way no fewer than 40 people are always there.

My colleagues have asked me to speak with the Minister; they want the mobile hospital to continue working until October 31, because the local hospital will not be repaired yet. I said, “Of course, we won’t abandon you and we won’t leave until you re-open the regular hospital.”

Vladimir Putin: Good.


September 13, 2019, The Kremlin, Moscow