President of Russia Vladimir Putin: My friends,
With all my heart I would like to congratulate the medical workers of Russia on their professional holiday, which the whole country today celebrates with you.
For us, for all citizens, this is primarily an opportunity to send heartfelt greetings to those who have devoted their lives to a great and noble mission – to heal people, to protect what is most valuable – human life and health.
This calling requires special moral virtues: mercy and generosity, and, sometimes, true courage, as well as a willingness to risk one’s own life for the sake of others.
I understand that many of you are on duty on this day, literally at your battle stations. You are countering the coronavirus epidemic all the time, around the clock. You are saving critically ill patients in intensive care units and hospital red zones, and providing ambulance emergency services.
All links of our public healthcare chain continue working in unison, in a well-coordinated manner. Each of you is acting professionally and reliably.
I would like to address special words to the workers of hospitals and outpatient clinics, who continue providing people with planned assistance, receiving patients, and conducting complicated, sometimes unique surgery. In the past few months, you have been working also on behalf of your colleagues who are fighting the coronavirus, and despite such a burden, you are befittingly performing your duties.
I am sincerely grateful for the work and service that you, our general practitioners, medical specialists, paramedics, ambulance and sanitary aviation teams, employees of the medical services of the defence, interior and emergency ministries and other departments, students, professors, lecturers of medical colleges and universities, and the personnel of the leading research and practice centres and healthcare NGOs, all provide to the people of Russia.
Our common goal is to focus all our efforts and all our resources on protecting citizens against the coronavirus and its effects. First, it is imperative to step up the vaccination rates. We have all we need to do this. Russia has four coronavirus vaccines of its own, and new vaccines and medications are under development.
Of course, despite the complexity of the current situation, we must expand medical examination programmes and provide timely medical help to patients with cardiovascular, oncological, endocrine and other diseases.
By all means, we will continue to improve the quality of the public health system, including primary care. We are aware of its setbacks and, in order to overcome them, we launched regional programmes for modernising our outpatient clinics, city and district hospitals, and rural health posts.
We will need to structure their work around innovative technology, renovate buildings and outfit them with modern medical and diagnostic equipment, including CT scanners.
Patients, knowing that they will always be able to receive affordable high-quality medical assistance anywhere they go, and doctors, paramedics and nurses – both in urban and in rural areas – knowing that they will have access to modern dignified workplaces must be the main outcome of the primary care modernisation effort.
Of course, remuneration commensurate with the workload and responsibility of medical workers are of paramount importance. During the pandemic, we are focusing on supporting doctors, nurses and ambulance teams that deal directly with coronavirus patients. Overall, almost 1.2 million medical workers received special payments. More than 350 billion rubles have already been set aside for these purposes. And I want to make it clear today: these payments will continue into the future.
Of course, your hard and honourable work is irreplaceable at all times and it must be rewarded in a fair and dignified manner. The new system of remuneration in the sphere of public health should provide for a standard base salary for all regions and, on top of that, there must be a clear and transparent list of additional payments and allowances. We will definitely fine tune and implement this modern model in the course of our dialogue with you and based on the proposals of Russia’s medical community.
Once again, I congratulate you on your holiday.
Thank you for your work, your courage, and your loyalty to your profession and duty. I bow low to you and all your colleagues.
I wish you good health and all the best.