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Meeting on healthcare issues

August 3, 2011, Sochi

The meeting, chaired by the President, focused particularly on improving the draft law on protecting public health.

The meeting’s participants included Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin, Presidential Aide Arkady Dvorkovich, Presidential Adviser Evgeny Yuriev, and Healthcare and Social Development Minister Tatyana Golikova.

* * *

President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Good afternoon, colleagues,

We have been planning to discuss the draft law on basic public health protection for some time now. I spoke about this matter with Ms Golikova [Minister of Healthcare and Social Development Tatyana Golikova] not so long ago. The draft law has already passed its first reading in the State Duma.

The basic legislation in this area has been in place since 1993, but we all realise the need for a new law because the situation in the country has changed since then, the economic conditions have changed, social protection conditions have changed, and so has the overall approach to healthcare provision. Why are these changes happening? Change is taking place as we introduce advanced new medical technology and a private medical system is emerging alongside the public-funded system.

I hope that the new law will facilitate the healthcare system’s continued modernisation and, most important of all, raise the quality of medical services and make them more affordable for people. This is the main goal. The law’s provisions will affect everyone in our country, their health, mood, and ability to work. This has to be the main thing that we keep in mind in our work on this draft law.

“The law’s provisions will affect everyone in our country, their health, mood, and ability to work. This has to be the main thing that we keep in mind in our work on this draft law.”

I remind you that the public discussion of the draft law went on for more than a year, with medical and pharmaceutical associations and non-governmental organisations all taking part. Thousands of people expressed their views on the subject. A discussion took place on a site specially set up for the purpose, as far as I know. Many comments and additions were sent in, and some of them have been taken into account in the further work that took place on the draft law.

The draft law was the subject of much discussion of course, and widely varying opinions. But this is probably only natural, because when you are discussing laws of this level you cannot expect that everyone will hold one and the same view.

The discussion has continued since the draft law passed its first reading. Preparations are now underway for the second reading. I want to know what the main substance is of the proposals that have been made, the main aspects and principles.

I won’t go into depth now on the details of what could and should have been done and the positions taken by the different agencies. I simply want to hear from you an overall analysis of the situation and the main proposed amendments and additions to this very important draft law.

As I just said, this draft law is of great importance for everyone in our country, and so the decisions that will be made must be very carefully weighed up and effective. Let’s begin the discussion.


August 3, 2011, Sochi