Students planning on studying in Russia should first familiarize themselves with the health care system in Russia, in case the unexpected should happen.
Russia has more physicians, hospitals, and health care workers on a per capita basis than almost any other country in the world. In spite of this, the general health of the Russian population has declined significantly since the collapse of the Soviet Union, as a result of several social, economic, and lifestyle changes.
After the election of Vladimir Putin in 2000, he pushed for significant growth in spending for public health care in Russia. In 2006, health care in Russia exceeded the pre-1991 level, and life expectancy increased from 1991-1993 levels. Also in 2006, the Russian government launched a national projects plan that approved an additional $3.2 billion in spending on health care, covering the salaries of doctors and nurses, the purchase of medical equipment, and the construction of eight high-tech medical centers in Russia’s outlying regions. In 2011, Putin announced his plans for large-scale health care reform and pledged to allocate more than 300 billion rubles to improving the health care system in Russia over the next few years. He also increased the obligatory medical insurance tax paid by companies for compulsory medical insurance from 3.1% to 5.1%.
Russia is a large country, and because regional budgets fund the majority of health care costs, the quality of health care available in Russia varies widely across the country.
Despite the relatively poor statistics of the health care system in Russia, quality medical treatment in Russia can be found. In fact, Russia has pioneered some of the most specialized fields of medicine in recent years, such as laser eye surgery, as well as several different developments and breakthroughs in relation to heart surgery. Quality medical treatment in Russia can also be found at several excellent health centers, such as the Fyodorov Eye Microsurgery Complex, founded by Russian eye surgeon Svyatoslav Fyodorov in 1988.
There are several different types of hospitals and health care clinics to be found in Russia. These include:
The Russian Federation has an estimated 17,500 pharmacies, 23% of which belong to regional governments, 60% to municipal authorities, and 17% are privately owned. Pharmaceuticals are provided for inpatients by the hospital, but outpatients must purchase them.