Tuesday, August 21, 2018

‘Why is Medical Care in Russia Worse than in Afghanistan?’ ‘Novyye izvestiya’ Asks

Paul Goble

            Staunton, August 21 – Even though the annual budget of a single St. Petersburg hospital is 1.5 times as large as the entire medical budget of Afghanistan, Andrey Nalgin says, the medical care Russians get in the first is in many cases far worse than that offered to victims in Afghanistan, one of the poorest countries in the world.

            Identified as a Russian blogger, Nalgin draws this unflattering comparison in the pages of today’s Novyye izvestiya and suggests that the situation is even worse because the Russian hospital he provides pictures of is in one of the capitals and medical care in rural Russia is much worse (newizv.ru/news/society/21-08-2018/vopros-dnya-pochemu-meditsina-v-rossii-huzhe-chem-v-afganistane).

            “In 2000, there were 10,700 hospitals in Russia; in 2015, there remained only 4400.” The number of polyclinics fell from 21,000 to 16,500. Officials say this consolidation allows for better care, but in fact, Nalgin continues, their claims beg the question why a country like Russia can’t afford to do more than Afghanistan does.

            Another blogger, Sergey Nikitsky, says that this post is “specially for Vladimir putin and Sergey Sobyanin. I consider that such posts must be read in the Presidential Administration and the Moscow mayor’s office” so that people there will know the truth and thus feel compelled to take action.

                No Russian should have to live in a situation where the health care he or she is likely to be able to get won’t measure up to Afghan standards, Nalgin and Nikitsky conclude. Obviously, in publishing their posts, the Moscow newspaper agrees.  For its part, Novyye izvestiya notes that there has not been any reaction from officials from its earlier coverage of this issue.

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