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Opening of cancer centres in Russia's regions

February 2, 2024, Tula

Vladimir Putin took part in the opening of cancer centres in Tomsk, Ufa and Yakutsk, via videoconference.

The meeting took place at the Tula Regional Oncology Clinic via videoconference. Before the start of the event, the President briefly spoke to the staff of the medical centre.

The oncology centre’s surgery building in Tomsk includes seven operating theatres and an intensive care unit, as well as an outpatient clinic, ultrasound, functional diagnostics, X-ray diagnostics, endoscopy, and clinical and laboratory research departments.

The Centre for Children's Oncology and Hematology in Ufa unites 10 divisions, with a capacity of 92 beds.

The opening of a cancer clinic in Yakutsk with four surgery departments makes it possible to expand the range of high-tech and minimally invasive methods of diagnostics and treatment. The clinic has 180 inpatient beds and 25 day hospital beds.

* * *

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Colleagues, good afternoon,

Today three Russian regions – Tomsk, Ufa and Yakutsk – are opening modern medical centres at the same time. They specialise in the treatment of cancer. This is another step in increased accessibility and efficiency in healthcare, which means maintaining people’s lives and health.

I want to thank everyone involved in building and equipping these centres. This work is ongoing in many regions in the Russian Federation, in fact, across the entire country.

Last week, as you know, I visited the new oncology centre in the Kaliningrad region, and we have just seen the Tula cancer centre, which opened recently, at the end of last year.

And what immediately impressed me was that much of the equipment – and oncology is one of the most complex, high-tech areas of medicine today – was domestically produced, Russian-made. As the chief physician [Dmitry Istomin] noted, the high quality and ease of use give reason to believe that we are moving in the right direction. And – I want to emphasise again, not only here, but also in Kaliningrad, I was told the same thing – the equipment fully meets the most advanced requirements.

I would like to remind you that the launch of a nationwide programme to fight cancer is one of our main goals in healthcare; you and I talked about this in 2018. And this goal – to work intensively in this area – was set in the 2018 Address. At that time, a federal project was set up for this. Significant resources, almost a trillion – over 960 billion rubles up to and including 2024 – are being allocated for its implementation.

One of the most important tasks both under the current federal project and for the future is to improve the efficiency of diagnostics.

And we all understand, even non-specialists in this complicated field realise that it is early detection and the timely start of treatment that makes it possible to cure many types of this disease, to preserve and prolong life, the quality of life.

Much has already been done in this regard. Examinations for the most common types of cancer are included in medical check-up and preventive exam programmes. More than 500 centres for outpatient oncological care have already been opened in the country's regions, where it is possible to undergo the entire range of examinations and, if necessary, outpatient treatment.

Eighteen reference centres have been created and are operating, which at the highest scientific level, help to clarify the diagnosis and find optimal treatment methods. Here too, the chief physician said, I would like to thank the Ministry of Health and the Government, for creating conditions for the constant exchange of experience with other leading cancer centres so that our colleagues in the field can promptly, almost online, consult with their colleagues at other leading medical institutions.

In general, the entire system of oncological care is being modernised. A lot of work is being done to upgrade the logistics base in federal and regional hospitals. Specialised medical organisations and institutions are being built or rebuilt. The system of dispensary monitoring has been improved and modern treatment protocols and standards are being introduced.

I would like to repeat that a lot has been done, and we can see certain favourable trends. The proportion of cancers detected in the early stages has increased over the period of the federal programme, while the mortality rate is decreasing. Yes, these may still be modest figures, but it is an obvious fact, and we need to do everything we can to maintain and increase this trend. I would like to emphasise the positive dynamics in the treatment of children with this serious disease.

But the task before us is, of course, a complex one, or, to be more precise, there are many such tasks. It is important to continue to increase the availability of oncological care, to do everything to ensure that a person can receive a diagnosis, and if it is medically possible, treatment, quickly, efficiently, and preferably in the area where he or she works. Because we understand very well: the faster, the better. And if it involves some kind of relocation, long waits, waiting lists, it can lead to serious consequences.

But, I repeat, on the whole, the overall goal is being resolved, and the money we have allocated is being spent, and is being spent rationally.

I would like to ask the Minister of Health, Mr Mikhail Murashko, to speak, and I give him the floor.


February 2, 2024, Tula