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Pathways to a Healthy Life in the Far East
5 September 2019
13:45—15:15
KEY CONCLUSIONS
Russia boasts an extensive programme for health improvement

If we take the health improvement programme in general, there is a whole set of preventive measures. <…> There is a special federal project under the Demography national project that aims to create a system of public health and promote healthy lifestyle. <…> It includes establishing a network of public health centres directly connected to every community, creating individual regional programmes to promote healthy lifestyle. <…> It also includes corporate healthcare. Two years ago, we signed a charter with the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs. We stay in close touch with the Ministry of Labour, and we have created a database of the best corporate practices. <…> The second part is a health assessment that will engulf the whole country, as well as transition to preventive checkups. <…> And of course, it is a targeted prevention of infections, which is done on a massive scale through vaccination. <…> Over the last ten years, we managed to decrease flu-related mortality by over 20 times — Veronika Skvortsova, Minister of Health of the Russian Federation.

Cutting-edge medical technologies help significantly increase longevity in the Far East

In the Far Eastern Federal District, the full longevity growth potential is 16.5 years. Of course, it is a huge number, however I would like to point out that it only stems from the existing technologies. It does not account for future technologies, opportunities to work with the genome and new vaccines, etc. — Viktor Subbotin, Junior Partner, Bain & Company.

ISSUES
Occupational health problems are underestimated

I keep quoting the number of occupational diseases recorded in our country nowadays. The number is something like 7–10 thousand [annually, – Ed.]. It is hard to imagine that all occupational health problems with all the harmful factors in operations account for just 10 thousand cases. Most likely, these are latent processes, and we just have not detected them. <…> There is no financial motivation for employers to detect them [occupational diseases, – Ed.]. In reality, frankly employees are not motivated either, because it will mean they have to look for a different occupation — Maxim Topilin, Minister of Labour and Social Protection of the Russian Federation.

People are not motivated to have a healthy lifestyle

62% of Russian consumers say they stick to a healthy lifestyle. I have my doubts about this number. If compared to the average number for the whole country, in the Far Eastern Federal District this number is slightly over 45%. <…> If people are not there yet, if they cannot say they strive for a healthy lifestyle, we need to do something about it — Maxim Protasov, Head of the Russian Quality System (Roskaschestvo).

75% of reproductive issues are not technology driven – they lie in what people do to themselves through their lifestyle. <…> When we reviewed the top reproductive problems, it appeared they were not medical. <…> We are fighting consequences. 77,6% of pregnant women are already unhealthy. That is why we need cutting-edge technologies to help with these childbirths. And where is the problem? Where is the root of the problem? Where are the risk factors? They lie in the lifestyle, in behaviors, in people being informed and motivated to stick to a healthy lifestyle — Oleg Apolikhin, Director, N.A. Lopatkin Research Institute of Urology and Interventional Radiology, a branch of the National Medical Research Centre for Radiology of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation.

Low longevity and high mortality in productive age in the Far Eastern Federal District

According to the Russian Statistics Agency, longevity in the Far Eastern Federal District is 70 years as of late 2018. If you take a look at the map of the world, you will not find all that many countries or a country that we could look up to with such a longevity. <…> If we address the last six years – from 2012 to 2018 – we will see that longevity growth rates are not high enough to achieve the goals the President set for 2024 — Viktor Subbotin, Junior Partner, Bain & Company.

General mortality in the Far Eastern Federal District is on par with the average mortality in Russia, even a bit lower. But FEFD has a unique population composition, and employable population is the majority. If we take a look at mortality rate in employable population, we will see that it is 21% higher than average in Russia. <…> There are 60% more deaths of external causes than on average in Russia – socially significant infections such as tuberculosis cause twice as many deaths as on average in Russia. And all major mortality factors show a 15–20% higher number — Veronika Skvortsova, Minister of Health of the Russian Federation.

SOLUTIONS
Giving business an impetus to care for their employees’ health

We did a survey of a number of companies in various industries and saw that companies work under the same conditions, but sick leaves and their cost to the Social Insurance Fund are different, several-fold different. I do hope that our partners – employers – get motivated to tackle this situation, to look at tariff-based motivation, though tariff policy for the temporary disability insurance, so that we motivate and give an impetus to those who are actually involved in occupational health in operations and interact with the standard healthcare — Maxim Topilin, Minister of Labour and Social Protection of the Russian Federation.

It is important to form clear game rules, motivation and impetus in this dialogue between the regulator, business community and employers — Alexey Repik, Chairman, Russian-Japanese Business Council; President, Delovaya Rossiya (Business Russia); Chairman of the Board, Group R-Pharm .

Introducing cutting-edge technologies in healthcare

In the WHO we study and invest in R&D to help everybody be connected to this system. There are remote access medical centres. Maybe it could be used from home – you could speak to doctors, to hospitals, to medical centres. In many parts of the world we are facilitating waiver of hospitals, because hospital is a place where you go for hi-tech services — Dorit Nitzan, Acting Regional Emergency Director for the European Region, Health Emergencies Programme, World Health Organization.

A ticket to better health and longer life in the Far East lies in introducing hi-tech, including special technologies applied specifically in the Far Eastern regions. <…> We need to help birth rate. That is why introducing best practices of non-invasive perinatal diagnostics, the use of genome technologies in assisted reproductive treatment, EF – these are the ways to drastically change both economic and the demographic situation in the Far East – it may not happen today, but in 10–15–20 years — Alexey Repik, Chairman, Russian-Japanese Business Council; President, Delovaya Rossiya (Business Russia); Chairman of the Board, Group R-Pharm .

Motivate companies to make healthier things

The quality standards that goods must stick to in order to get a quality sign include requirements that we set based on the WHO recommendations among others and in close touch in the Ministry of Health. It is less or zero antibiotics in meat and dairy. It is less salt or sugar in food, especially for children. We include these norms in our advanced standards, and only the goods that comply with these requirements get a state quality sign and our assistance in their sales — Maxim Protasov, Head of the Russian Quality System (Roskaschestvo).

Improving medical personnel training

Above all, our objective is to train primary care personnel, and in order to do this we are changing curricula. <…> As of today, thanks to structural changes and funding from the Ministry of Health all medical schools in Russia are equipped with simulators. <…> Moreover, we are introducing remote training. <…> We understand and believe that we need to borrow best technologies from our neighbours and apply them in our medical training — Valentin Shumatov, Rector, Pacific State Medical University.

Preventive care for risk groups

Forming risk groups, working with them and further referral to individual consultations, diagnostics and screenings will help us with the early diagnostics — Oleg Apolikhin, Director, N.A. Lopatkin Research Institute of Urology and Interventional Radiology, a branch of the National Medical Research Centre for Radiology of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation.

The material was prepared by the Russian news agency TASS