The glasnost period of the late 1980s first revealed the decay of the Soviet system of socialized medicine, which nominally guaranteed full health protection to all citizens without charge. That system had been installed under Joseph V. Stalin (in office 1927-53) with an emphasis on preserving a healthy work force as a matter of national economic policy. In the1980s, Russia had a huge network of neighborhood and work-site clinics and first-aid facilities to provide readily accessible primary care, together with large hospitals and polyclinics to diagnose and treat more complex illnesses and to perform surgery. In 1986 the Soviet Union had 23,500 hospitals with more than 3.6 million beds. Such facilities included about 28,000 women's consultation centers andpediatric clinics, together with emergency ambulance services and sanatoriums.
In the 1980s, the Soviet Union was first in the world in the ratio of hospital beds to population. Behind this system was a huge, multilevel bureaucracy directed from Moscow in consultation with organs of the CPSU.
the health system today
Russia has an entrenched, albeit underfunded, system of socialized medicine.Basic medical care is available to most of the population free of cost, but its quality is extremely low by Western standards, and in the mid-1990s the efficiency of the system continued the decline that had begun before the collapse of the Soviet system. In the first four post-Soviet years, that decline was typified by significant increases in infant and maternal mortality and contagious diseasesand by decreases in fertility and life expectancy.
The decline in health is attributable in part to such environmental and social factors as air and water pollution, contamination (largely from nuclear accidents or improper disposal of radioactive materials), overcrowded living conditions, inadequate nutrition, alcoholism, and smoking, and in part to a lack of modern medical equipment andtechnology. In 2005 life expectancy in Russia was 74.3 years for females and 63.5 years for males. Compare to the life expectancy in 1994 that was lowest in Russia.
Russia has a very low standard of compulsory state funded healthcare compared to Western Standards. Medical staff is adequately trained; however their talents cannot be fully used due to the lack of funds and medical equipment available.All citizens are entitled by law to equal access to healthcare, but old Soviet ways still prevail leading to inequality. Healthcare is free and is available to all citizens and registered long-term residents. Private healthcare is also available in the country, which is highly recommended. The Russian government oversees the health service and is trying to equalize the way that healthcare is given.Hospitals
Hospitals and clinics exist in all major towns and cities of Russia. Patients are admitted to hospital either through the emergency department or through a referral by their doctor. Once a patient is admitted treatment is controlled by one of the hospital doctors. The conditions in most of the states hospitals are very bad, it is estimated that over one third of the country'shospitals and clinics lack hot water and some of them have no running water at all. There are also clinics and hospitals which are not linked to a waste disposal system and many of both categories have no central heating. Even in the more advanced hospitals, many medical staff do not regularly wash their hands and surgical apparatus is not always disinfected; thus, rates of infection are exceptionallyhigh. The quality of hospital rooms varies according to the quality of a person’s health insurance scheme. Often, patients must buy their own drugs, from the doctors. Even hospital food is in short supply, leaving family and friends to provide for the patients from home. The waiting lists for hospital admissions are extremely long.
The State System
For the state healthcare fund employees and...