Priority national projects have proven their effectiveness as a tool for addressing many social and economic issues, Dmitry Medvedev said in his opening address. The President stressed that their implementation should be synchronised with the processes of modernisation and technological development underway in the country and urged the meeting participants to pay special attention to the financing of national projects in their work on the draft federal budget.
Mr Medvedev noted the need to implement energy saving programmes at publically funded organisations, particularly at educational and healthcare institutions. The President also stressed the importance of energy efficient housing, noting that a significant reduction in energy consumption can be achieved in the housing sector. On the issue of housing, Dmitry Medvedev announced that he had signed a law, which now allows using the maternity capital to build homes without engaging contractors.
The President said healthcare priorities included innovative development of the field, production of new medicines, vaccinations and nuclear medicine. Mr Medvedev said he had sighed a law on improving drug supply in rural areas: hospitals will now be permitted to distribute drugs in the areas that do not have pharmacies.
Speaking about the development of agribusiness, the President noted that agriculture was gradually turning into a high-tech sector of the economy, but in the past two years the pace of agricultural machinery fleet renewal had decreased. It is vital to consider the possibility of restructuring lease agreements, including through the introduction of a deferred payment system, Mr Medvedev said.
Before the meeting, Dmitry Medvedev visited Moscow Region Research Institute of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. The Institute is developing and implementing new technologies for treating women with endocrine and cardiovascular diseases during pregnancy and childbirth, and new ways to improve the quality of medical care for newborn babies. The Institute also conducts fundamental research and has an affiliated Family Planning Centre, where modern methods of assisted reproductive treatment (ART) are used to fight infertility.
Dmitry Medvedev held a videoconference with Yekaterinburg municipal hospital staff. The doctors told the President about using telemedicine to cooperate with their colleagues in Moscow.