Russia’s healthcare system: in need of modernisationBMJ 2009; 338 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b2132 (Published 25 June 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b2132
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Over 55% of male deaths in Russia are due to CVD and stroke; in large
part caused by excessive alcohol & tobacco usage, poor diet, obesity,
inadequate exercise, hypertension, raised cholesterol & diabetes. The
Russian authorities fully recognise the potential risks at personal,
social, economic and political levels should their population continue to
fall by 0.5% per annum. In the absence of measures to reduce this decline,
the present population of 143 million could fall to 100 million by 2050.
In conjunction with WHO and the World Bank the Russian Ministry of
Health & Social Development developed and launched a detailed
comprehensive strategy document in 2008 to prevent & control non-
communicable diseases and injuries (1). The overall aim is by 2020 to
increase male life expectancy to 75 years and reduce mortality by 20% (2).
To achieve these goals legislative measures controlling alcohol and
tobacco availability & usage, education in preventive medicine for the
medical profession and the public, CVD risk assessment and prophylactic
use of statins in those at risk, will all be necessary.
A joint Russian/UK pilot project to apply these principles in a large
industrial regional city is in preparation. The project will ascertain
which measures would be most effective in a Russian population and
demonstrate over the course of three years the potential benefits.
Ultimately similar schemes would be introduced throughout the Russian
1.Strategy for the prevention and control of non-communicable
diseases and injuries in the Russian Federation Ministry of Health &
Social Development, State Research Centre for Preventive Medicine Moscow
2. The concept of health system development until 2020 Ministry of
Health & Social Development of the Russian Federation 2008
Competing interests: No competing interests