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Opening healthcare facilities in Russian regions

February 15, 2023, Novo-Ogaryovo, Moscow Region

The President participated, via videoconference, in a ceremony marking the opening of new healthcare facilities in several Russian regions.

Taking part in the event were Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova, Presidential Aide Maxim Oreshkin, Health Minister Mikhail Murashko, the heads of the Kabardino-Balkarian Republic, the Krasnoyarsk Territory, the Lipetsk, Saratov and Zaporozhye regions and the directors of new healthcare facilities.

* * *

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues.

Today we are opening several new healthcare facilities in various Russian regions. I should note that some of them are already open while others are preparing to receive patients shortly.

These facilities include district hospitals, outpatient and walk-in clinics in the Saratov, Belgorod, Lipetsk regions, the Kabardino-Balkarian Republic, the Krasnoyarsk Territory and the Zaporozhye Region. In the latter, like in Donbass and the Kherson Region, despite all the challenges, restoration of social infrastructure is underway, including the healthcare system. I would like to ask the Ministry of Health to continue focusing on this effort.

We still have much to do to improve the accessibility and quality of medical care in the country as a whole, from large federal medical centres to district outpatient clinics and village first-aid stations. With this aim in view, we are implementing the Healthcare national project and have launched regional programmes to modernise local clinics since 2021. These resources were used to build some of the facilities we are opening today. Overall, these programmes include over 10,000 first-aid healthcare facilities. The funding was used to repair hospital buildings and outpatient clinics, build new facilities and purchase machinery, equipment and vehicles.

Our modernisation programmes will certainly continue this year, and here I would like to remind you of the possibility of advance financing within the budget limits for 2024. We have discussed this with our colleagues in the Government, and we have this opportunity. This approach will make it possible to quickly implement the plans, which means increasing accessibility to medical care for millions of people. I ask Ms Golikova and Mr Murashko, as well as the heads of the respective regions, to keep this matter under personal review and to ensure the expeditious implementation of primary care modernisation programmes.

I see Ms Golikova nodding her head. We have repeatedly talked about this. This can and should be done.

Again, we still have a lot to do to ensure that every Russian, regardless of the region they live in, receives high-quality and up-to-date medical care. This is not only about better medical equipment and facilities. Other key priorities include building up capacity to provide specialised and high-tech care, improving the education level of medical personnel, as well as the wider use of advanced information technologies, including so-called digital assistants, which help doctors make diagnoses and reduce the time spent on paperwork.

We are repeating some things again. People who are not versed in the industry still find it unusual that big data systems can help in diagnosing patients. This is amazing but true, and it improves the quality of the work.

In conclusion, I would like to once again congratulate all the participants on today's event. I wish you continued success in your work.

And I certainly would like to congratulate the patients who will soon take advantage of all the opportunities the new healthcare facilities can provide.

I am now giving the floor to Healthcare Minister Mikhail Murashko. I would like to ask you to report in more detail on the implementation of the programmes to modernise primary care in general, including this year’s plans to build or overhaul medical facilities.

Please go ahead, Mr Murashko.

Minister of Health Mikhail Murashko: Thank you very much.

Mr President, colleagues,

The construction and reconstruction of medical facilities is our priority.

To begin with, I would like to say that despite the challenges of the epidemiological situation and economic issues, we continued building and developing the medical infrastructure. In the past few years, we have transferred over 200 billion rubles in subsidies to the regions.

In line with your instructions, since 2021 we have been implementing the project to modernise primary healthcare that is part of the National Healthcare project. Due to this, the population has received access to more than 3,600 new and updated facilities, including 3,500 first-aid stations that are the most needed part of the medical service.

In addition to construction, we are providing healthcare facilities with medical equipment. Every sixth facility has received new medical equipment. Today, over 50 million people can see these changes.

Of course, the creation of new large medical centres goes alongside this work. Today, over 50 of them have been put into operation: nine oncological centres – we are at one of them now, which will start operating in a couple of days; 14 children’s hospitals and many other important facilities. In addition, more than 40 infectious disease hospitals were built during the pandemic.

I would like to stress that the construction of 787 healthcare facilities was completed last year. I will mention some of the largest facilities put into service in the Kemerovo Region, in the city of Mezhdurechensk, where people have been waiting for this for a longtime, two infectious disease hospitals – in the Saratov Region and in Orenburg, and over 700 first-aid healthcare stations.

I cannot help but mention staffing issues because to make all of these facilities work and to provide quality and accessible medical care, we need human resources, which are a key component and our most precious reserve. We have increased the scale of education per specialty by almost 19 percent. We have also increased the training of specialized doctors under residency programs in the past three years by 30 percent.

I would like to note that the regions that are heavily involved in staffing policy are suggesting their own incentives. There are a number of regions where outpatient clinic staffing is close to 100 percent – the Belgorod Region, Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, the Tyumen Region, and the Chechen Republic. Support for this approach from the regional governors is very important.

Mr President, I would like to thank you for supporting primary healthcare workers. Special social payment benefits will become an additional, powerful incentive for increasing staffing. Payment benefits for almost half a million medical workers have already been allocated. Some 83 percent of institutions have submitted the lists required for the allocation. This very sensitive change has had a big response from the professional community. We have received many questions from the regions and medical institutions and are answering all of them, and of course, we are keeping this under our supervision.

In conclusion, I would like to say a few words about our plans for 2023. They provide for the construction of another 1,200 medical facilities, of which over 900 are village primary care stations. We have adopted a comprehensive approach to these stations – now all of them that do not have a pharmacy, have received a pharmaceutical license. This applies to 35,000 village stations. Also, primary healthcare stations are fitted with only digital equipment for online communications. So, now we are implementing the concept of digital primary care stations.

In addition to first- primary care stations, we are planning to open 27 major facilities, including seven buildings for oncological dispensaries, children’s hospitals, and a children’s rehabilitation centre in Podolsk. We are working on the latter under your instructions.

Today, we are launching nine healthcare facilities, thereby setting a good pace for the development of our entire medical network.

Allow me to start the opening, please.


Vladimir Putin: Colleagues, we have ambitious plans for the development of healthcare in the country, and despite the difficulties created from outside, we will not just implement them all, but moreover, we have every opportunity to implement these plans ahead of schedule, including in the most sensitive areas, such as the development of primary healthcare.

This is not about the presence or absence of funding sources; again, we have the resources. The issue is organising our joint work. And here it is very important to establish coordination between the regions and the various federal authorities, primarily of course, between the Health Ministry, the social sector, and the regions. I do hope that we will work exactly as we have been working so far in order to achieve the goals that we have reached and are celebrating today.

I want to thank everyone who worked on the creation of these medical centres, on the updates, preparations, construction, and equipment installation, and wish everyone success.

Thank you. Have a good day.

February 15, 2023, Novo-Ogaryovo, Moscow Region