The authorities of some Russian regions have already announced the suspension of the provision of routine medical care to citizens. This decision was motivated by the fact that the growing rates and volumes of hospitalization of unvaccinated and non-coronavirus patients overload local health systems.
Indeed, in some constituent entities of the Russian Federation, the situation is such or is very close to such, the press secretary of the President of Russia admitted. Dmitry Peskov…
“When the number of cases is already such that it is necessary to use absolutely all medical facilities, depriving people of the right to receive routine care, it is very, very bad,” he said (quoted by Rossiyskaya Gazeta), responding to a request from journalists to comment on the situation. having stated that, unfortunately, this is the reality.
This turn of events greatly worries the medical community, some of which are already beginning to voice very sad predictions.
So, for example, speaking at the conference “Actual problems of the epidemiology of infectious and non-infectious diseases: epidemiological, organizational and hygienic aspects” Irina Vasilieva said that already this year the country is expecting an increase in the incidence of tuberculosis, and in a neglected form.
“Our medical examinations were also lost last year, and, according to our data, about 12% of tuberculosis patients were not detected … This means that in 2021 we expect an increase in the incidence, and an increase in the incidence of advanced forms, infectious forms,” stated in particular she.
But not only tuberculosis patients are not provided with routine care. Cancer patients of all forms, asthmatics, heart patients, and all other chronic patients, of which there are a very large number in our country, also suffer from the collapse into which the coronavirus drove our health care.
Why this happened, the experts have told SP many times, so it’s time to ask completely different questions.
Will not many Russians have to listen to the terrible verdict after a certain time due to the suspension of planned aid that their disease has passed into a critical stage, and medicine here, alas, is already powerless?
Will not many unsuspecting and considering themselves healthy people have to listen to frightening diagnoses with bated breath for the first time?
But most importantly, will our health care be able to correct this situation?
– According to the Ministry of Health, at the moment more than 270 thousand beds in hospitals are involved in the country for new cases of coronavirus infection, and a total of more than 600 thousand medical workers are working on these cases. Considering that in our health system as a whole there are about 600 thousand doctors and about 1.5 million nurses, this means that about a third of all doctors and about a quarter of nursing staff are not involved in providing this assistance, – told SP Rector of the Graduate School of Healthcare Management (VSHOUZ), MD Guzel Ulumbekova… – It should be noted that back in 2020, the indicators of the so-called “primary morbidity” sharply decreased in Russia. Simply put, the detection of new cases of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, the same tuberculosis, and other pathologies did not occur due to the overload of the healthcare system.
This trend continued in 2021 due to coronavirus waves. According to the data available to me, at the moment the primary incidence of neoplasms has dropped by 17%, diseases of the circulatory system – by 16%. Accordingly, the fact that in 2022, 2023 and subsequent years we will really face advanced cases of various diseases is almost an indisputable fact.
And the flow of patients to the health care system in our country has significantly increased and will continue to grow. Not only will we have more and more new patients with coronavirus infection to be detected, not only will we most likely be diagnosed with patients with its chronic form who will need long-term rehabilitation, we will also have patients with severe forms of other diseases. for whom planned assistance has now been postponed. The situation, to be sure, will be very difficult, not to mention the fact that the key problems of the Russian health care system, which were before the pandemic, remained unresolved.
“SP”: – Can our healthcare system, figuratively speaking, scoop out and not drown in such a whirlpool of events?
– In such a scenario, the available capacity must be seriously increased. I am talking primarily about the number of medical personnel, the number of hospitals and the capacity of the bed fund. And perhaps it will only be when our funding for this industry multiplies. But, unfortunately, our healthcare funding is not increasing, but only decreasing.
For example, in 2022 compared to 2021, we will have a 1% decrease in public health spending at constant prices, that is, adjusted for inflation. Exactly the same situation will continue in subsequent years, up to 2024 – funding for health care in constant prices will not grow.
In such a scenario, in my opinion, there are, alas, no options – there are practically no chances of receiving quality medical care from sick Russians.
“SP”: – But Dmitry Peskov does not agree with such an assessment. On the contrary, he claims that federal spending on medicine has increased de facto between 2022 and 2024. As much as 5%. According to him, they simply cannot be seen immediately, since some articles, due to the reform of the methodology for the formation of state programs, were transferred from health care to other programs. In particular, in scientific and technological.
– I have carefully studied the data prepared by the Ministry of Finance regarding the main directions of the budgetary policy. It follows from them that the expenditures of the budgets of the budgetary system (simply state spending on health care) in 2022 will increase by 3% in current prices, while decreasing by 1% in constant prices (if inflation is 4%). Meanwhile, the number of patients in our country will grow sharply, as we discussed with you. In other words, the need for free help has increased, and there is less money for it. And in our health care system, an enormous mass of serious problems has accumulated, many of which appeared long before the pandemic. So this is supposedly an increase in current prices – purely symbolic, because everything corny will be eaten up by inflation.
In practice, all this means only one thing – the national goals set by the president of the country, as well as his appeal to the deputies of the new State Duma of October 12, 2021, to respond to the aspirations of Russians, will not be fulfilled.
“SP”: – That is, after the end of the coronavirus epidemic – should it end sooner or later – we will inevitably be covered by a new wave of morbidity?
– Honestly, I do not yet foresee its soon ending. I will not undertake to give an accurate forecast, but, according to my assumptions, we will be floundering with her, perhaps, for the whole of 2022. And this will undoubtedly be superimposed on a serious wave of serious illnesses of a different nature. There will be just a mass of them, at least 20-30% more of them.
To resist it, we need to increase the volume of free medical care, attract additional personnel, and increase spending on drug purchases. All this requires serious money.