The meeting reviewed the interim results of the programmes’ implementation and discussed issues such as building new and upgrading existing healthcare facilities, improving the quality of public healthcare services, and raising healthcare sector wages.
Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, Governor of Lipetsk Region Oleg Korolev and Head of Chuvashia Mikhail Ignatyev took part in the meeting via videoconference.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues,
Today, we will discuss the situation with implementing the healthcare modernisation programme. Let me remind you that the programme was drafted for the 2011–2012 period and is still in progress, but I think this is a good moment to review what has been achieved so far and what still needs to be done, since there is still work to carry out, which I will speak about in a minute. Overall though, the work is going according to plan. We need to sum up the interim results and are in a position to do so now.
Our healthcare sector goals are well known. Our top priorities are to improve public healthcare services and public health in general, increase life expectancy, reduce mortality, and improve the demographic situation. These are all extremely important tasks for the country. Of course, we can only achieve these goals if we have modern medical facilities and equipment and top-quality healthcare professionals.
The quality of healthcare services depends above all on the professional skills and qualifications of the healthcare sector workers and their responsible attitude towards their work and their patients. They should receive decent pay for their work. One of the objectives we follow in introducing standards in the sector is to ensure that healthcare workers will indeed earn more money based on the principle that higher quality work should be better paid.
Gradual increases in healthcare sector wages continue. By 2018, we plan that doctors’ average wages will be double the average wage in the region they work in. I will not list the regions where wages have risen and give you the corresponding figures, but an increase really is taking place. It would be nice to have a bigger increase perhaps, but overall, there is progress here.
Of course, the regional programmes’ biggest priority is to upgrade hospitals and medical centres, as well as healthcare facilities in rural areas, buy new diagnostic and therapeutic equipment, and spread the use of information technology that will make it simpler to make doctors’ appointments and save doctors from extra paperwork and people from having to spend time waiting in lines.
I remind you that we have allocated an additional 460 billion rubles for these purposes over 2011 and 2012. Added to this is the 174 billion rubles allocated by the regions. This gives us a total of around 630 billion rubles, which is slightly less than the funding for the priority healthcare programme we were carrying out over the previous years. The figures are comparable however. The priority healthcare programme had funding of slightly more than 700 billion rubles. The programmes’ implementation has considerably improved the healthcare situation in the regions. Of course, all of this investment has to be put to effective work and bring maximum returns.
Let me remind you that our plans call for the construction of 107 new healthcare facilities, and for capital renovation of more than 3,500 existing facilities. We also need to purchase equipment for 5,500 medical institutions.
As you all realise, we have not much time left before the completion deadline. In this respect, I ask the regional heads to keep strictly to the timetable, including for purchases of medical equipment. All contract formalities should be completed very soon. The situation varies from region to region. We all have the information before us and so I will not go through it case by case.
I would like to hear during this meeting on the state of progress in implementing the programmes, the contracts’ performance, and whether everything will be completed on time. If there are problems and glitches of any sort, let’s discuss them here and now and reflect on what we can do to fix the situation. The main thing is that I want to hear about the actual results: how much have equipment and facilities actually improved, how much do hospitals and medical centres measure up to modern demands, and what improvement has there been to the quality of service our people receive?
I want to hear reports from our colleagues in the regions on the changes in the local healthcare provision system. Mr Sobyanin [Mayor of Moscow] is at Moscow’s First City Hospital. We visited this hospital last year, as I recall, and looked at the situation there. We have also linked up to the President of the Republic of Chuvashia and the Governor of Lipetsk Region.
I want to stress also that our efforts to raise the quality of public healthcare services must not end with the formal completion of healthcare modernisation programmes in the regions. The Government now has the task of drafting and implementing the long-term Healthcare Development national programme.
I expect active work to continue at the regional level too, building on the experience and results of the 2011–2012 healthcare modernisation programmes of course.
Let’s start work.