Saturday, May 13, 2023

Moscow’s Healthcare Optimization Takes on New Form, One Set to Leave Population with Even Fewer Options

Paul Goble

            Staunton, May 10 – Over the last several years, in the name of saving money and increasing efficiency, Moscow has closed numerous hospitals and clinics, forcing people to travel ever further to get medical care or more often do without (

            Now, the central government is planning to launch a new form of healthcare “optimization,” transferring to nurses tasks carried out in the past only by doctors. Such a program is not a bad idea but it requires changing training of nurses and also changing the way they are remunerated.

            But instead of approaching this task as a long-term goal, the Russian central government plans to do this in only one year, something that Moscow experts say will exacerbate medical care problems in the country to leading more doctors and nurses to leave the profession and leaving many clinics without personnel (

            After covid benefits ended, almost 50,000 people left state medical institutions, including almost 10,000 doctors and 39,000 nurses. This has hit some regions of the country hard, with 22 federal subjects reporting a serious shortage of medical personnel. Unless Moscow changes course, its new plan will lead to move exits and more shortages.

            And that in turn will further compromise Russia’s demographic future by creating a situation in which ever fewer people will get medical care at the early stages of diseases when cures are easiest and ever more will go to distant doctors only when their illnesses have become more serious and more expensive and difficult to treat.

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