President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Congress participants, international guests, ladies and gentlemen,
First, I would like to welcome you to Russia, to congratulate you on the opening of the 4th European Congress of Paediatricians, and to wish you success in your work here in Russia.
You will have a great opportunity to share experiences, talk about modern trends in the development of paediatric care, and simply discuss what needs to be done to make medical care more effective, to find better methods, and to improve preventive practices. We are very happy to know that you will be dealing with and analysing all of these matters.
We are pleased and honoured that this Congress is being held in Moscow. This recognises certain modest achievements that we have recently made.
I was just talking with a small group of your colleagues, and I stated that at the moment, we have more problems than successes. Nevertheless, we have had some accomplishments in recent years. In any event, we gave medical care new momentum, we invested some money — quite a lot by our country’s standards — in order to improve medical treatment, to build up local medical facilities and hospitals, to bring in new equipment, and to offer new medical programmes. In my view, this has had a tangible effect, and we are pleased with these improvements.
Recently, the situation with supplies of materials and technical equipment to health care industry has improved as well. We have begun the construction of perinatal centres, and in some places, we are in the finishing stages of their construction. We will have a network of perinatal centres spanning our nation. These centres are equipped with the newest technologies, which particularly pleases us.
I feel that we have also been quite successful with our Pregnancy Certificate Programme [which covers the costs of medical services to women during pregnancy and labour, as well as a year of follow-up care for newborns]. We must continue all these aspects of our work. Our efforts have been greatly influential in helping us achieve better statistics: since 2005, maternal mortality has decreased by over 15 percent, and infant mortality has decreased by nearly 23 percent. Our birth rate statistics have also improved, particularly if we take figures in developed countries. Now, our goal is to maintain all of these indicators. We can do this only by making further investments in public health.
We need to think about implementing new technologies to care for premature babies, about promoting perinatal diagnostics and neonatal surgery, developing a system of neonatal screening, and accomplishing all the other things that we have just set out to do.
Thus, I would like to sincerely wish all of you success, including at the General Assembly meeting of the European Paediatrics Association, which is taking place during the Congress. You will assess paediatric achievements made in recent years, determine priorities for improving pubic health services in European nations, and find opportunities for professional cooperation, which is very important for our country.
Anyway, I would like to wish you all success, because the health and lives of those who are dearest to us – our children – rest in your hands. Thank you for your work. Take care!