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The Roscongress Foundation is a socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of international conventions; exhibitions; and business, public, sporting, and cultural events. It was established in pursuance of a decision by the President of the Russian Federation.

The Foundation was established in 2007 with the aim of facilitating the development of Russia’s economic potential, promoting its national interests, and strengthening the country’s image. One of the roles of the Foundation is to comprehensively evaluate, analyse, and cover issues on the Russian and global economic agendas. It also offers administrative services, provides promotional support for business projects and attracting investment, and helps foster social entrepreneurship and charitable initiatives.

Each year, the Foundation’s events draw participants from 208 countries and territories, with more than 15,000 media representatives working on-site at Roscongress’ various venues. The Foundation benefits from analytical and professional expertise provided by 5000 people working in Russia and abroad. In addition, it works in close cooperation with 133 economic partners; industrialists’ and entrepreneurs’ unions; and financial, trade, and business associations from 70 countries worldwide.

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An International Medical Cluster: To Be or Not to Be?
4 September 2019
17:15—18:45
KEY CONCLUSIONS
The Far East is a promising area for an international medical cluster

The concept of the medical cluster includes extending the 160th Federal Law on the medical clusters to cover the territory of Russky Island, <...> involvement of foreign medical organizations. <...> The structure of the medical cluster we have been working on includes the creation of diagnostic, therapeutic units, as well as multi-disciplinary institutions — Pavel Volkov, State Secretary, Deputy Minister for the Development of the Russian Far East.

With the advent of new technologies, which are more expensive and likely to be more personalized, there will be a need for accurate diagnostics, which nuclear medicine methods can provide. So, for us, the formation of a <...> cluster is more likely to be an advantage — Alexander Khasin, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Centre for Development of Nuclear Medicine of Ulan-Ude.

India provides a very high level of medical services <...> and we can bring our expertise here, we can replicate our existing system. But in order for that to happen, we need regulatory mechanisms — Sunil Sachdeva, Co-founder, Medanta.

South Korea plans to develop new markets <...> and the Far East is an important new market — Woojin Hwang, Managing Director, Massachusetts Institute of Innovation (Asia).

The demand for paid services is growing in Russia

The volume of paid medical services is growing year by year, and the dynamics in the Far East are the same. Now it is about RUB 40 billion — Pavel Volkov, State Secretary, Deputy Minister for the Development of the Russian Far East.

In 2018, <...> 27 thousand Russian patients visited Korea, which is 10% more than the year before — Lee Jeong Zoo, President, Pusan National University Hospital.

Russia remains one of the countries with the largest share of medical tourism in South Korea. For medical tourism, it is important to have developed medicine, developed medical facilities, affordable prices and developed tourist infrastructure. Now South Korea has all these factors. <...> Service costs are significantly lower compared to similar services in the USA and Europe — Woojin Hwang, Managing Director, Massachusetts Institute of Innovation (Asia).

In Russia, this choice is either Moscow or Korea. Moscow is very far away, and if treatment is long and requires constant travel, it is very difficult, primarily for cancer patients, so they choose Korea. The medical cluster, I think, will save us — Vera Vahonia, CEO, Vernal Medical Tourism Agency.

Why, among other things, do people go to India or Korea? Because when a serious problem arises, such as a cancer, a lot of different research is needed. <...> Here, a person can only get one vertical service, but not all industries. If a cluster is created here that includes everything, people will stay here — Sunil Sachdeva, Co-founder, Medanta.

ISSUES
Foreign medical professionals have a hard time getting permits to work in Russia

If the law on the international medical cluster is not adopted, South Korean medical professionals will not be able to operate here. There will be significant difficulties in importing medical equipment. <...> The biggest problem <...> is obtaining the appropriate licenses and permits — Woojin Hwang, Managing Director, Massachusetts Institute of Innovation (Asia).

Difficulties of medical control in the cluster

Let me remind you that there is an initiative on the part of the Federation Council to recognize medications registered in other countries without the need to repeat clinical trials. <...> There is a clear understanding that the Ministry, by allowing medical clusters in general, combined with the 160th Federal Law, assumes certain risks as a regulator. Are these risks worth it in terms of public health? — Kirill Kaem, Senior Vice-President for Innovations, Skolkovo Foundation.

The Ministry of Health generally supports the idea of creating an international medical cluster. But the next important issue is to find a balance between economic attractiveness and ensuring the highest standards of safety and quality of medical care <...> and, consequently, the proportionality of legal regulation — Oleg Salagay, Deputy Minister of Health of the Russian Federation.

How should a clinic, which is excluded from the standard federal regulation, control the quality of medical care? This issue is unresolved — Kirill Kaem, Senior Vice-President for Innovations, Skolkovo Foundation.

Lack of qualified personnel

Operators, who wish to enter the market in the Russian Federation, even only in Skolkovo, suffer from the lack of qualified personnel. A foreign doctor can possibly be brought in, but the nursing staff is extremely expensive to bring to the clinic — Kirill Kaem, Senior Vice-President for Innovations, Skolkovo Foundation.

SOLUTIONS
Investing in training qualified medical professional

What we should invest in <...> is training Russian professionals, and here we can save money. Because when we try to bring in Japanese, Korean, and Chinese specialists to Russia, it is difficult and expensive. <...> We already train our own professionals — Elena Zhidkova, Head, Central Healthcare Directorate, Russian Railways.

We will build 3 medical centres a tiny Russian island <...> from the point of view of hundreds of medical centres, which are located in Russia, it is a drop in the ocean. That's why it is not just a business here we have to build here, but a centre of new medical technologies, a centre of transfer of medical technologies. <...> Therefore, the principle task <...> is education — Yury Khotimchenko, Director, School of Biomedicine, Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU).

State and business joining forces to create legislature for the medical cluster

Together, we are ready to look for the right ways to facilitate administrative procedures [in the medical cluster, – Ed.], without making global exceptions to the general legal regulation — Oleg Salagay, Deputy Minister of Health of the Russian Federation.

If we had a single consultation process, we could ask you what regulatory mechanisms you need if you want to conduct research and build clinics. <...> Now you are writing a new law, so you can make a reasonable, transparent system — Sunil Sachdeva, Co-founder, Medanta.

Now the second wave of modernization is coming, and the national health care project has come into force. <...> Therefore, even now when we are launching the medical cluster, it is important to understand what health care will be like in 6 years — Alexander Akkuratov, Sales Director in Russia, Philips LLC.

The material was prepared by the Russian news agency TASS