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The Arctic: Territory of Health
30 March 2017

Healthcare systems in the Arctic face a range of challenges specific to the region, including difficulties in accessing population centres and industrial areas, low population density, difficult climatic conditions, the effects of the polar day and polar night, and environmental problems. In addition to the need to develop healthcare services in the region, there is also a need to adapt the latest technologies for application in the region. This can be achieved by sharing the experience of medical practices preparing people for life in non-standard conditions, and by participating in joint projects to develop equipment for diagnosing and treating the health problems of people residing in extreme conditions. Another important objective is improving the life expectancy of the population of Russia’s Arctic regions from the current 71 to 74 years. A number of initial steps must be taken in this direction: improving working and living conditions, encouraging a healthy lifestyle, and providing prompt and high-quality medical services. In order to achieve these objectives, a coordinated healthcare strategy must be developed for the sub-polar region’s population. Such a strategy can only be developed and implemented with the coordinated efforts of all parties involved — government, business, and scientific, educational, and civil society organizations. Issues for discussion: • In the current climate, how can research on the negative effects of the Arctic environment on the population’s health be coordinated? • How can the population of the Arctic regions be motivated to pursue a healthy lifestyle, and who should be assigned this responsibility? • What is business doing to look after the health of its workers? • What are the priorities for healthcare development in Russia’s Arctic regions in the coming years? • How can medical staff be attracted to work in sub-polar regions? • What factors could help initiate an information revolution for healthcare in remote districts?

International Arctic Forum
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