Changes to the Russian Health Care System

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Health recognized as one of the first vital human needs. Low level of public health can

be considered as a danger to the nation. In Russia elements of the health care existed since times

of the ancient Slavs in such actions as conducting sanitation of settlements, burying the dead

during an epidemics or wars. With the spread of Christianity, church provided free treatment of

poor patients, widows and orphans. But state legally and financially strengthened the church

charity. In 1096 Grand Prince of Kievan Rus' Yaroslav the Wise introduced a special

tax – the tithe to the poor, orphans and the sick.

Soviet model of health care (Semashko system), was formed in 1918, under the guidance

of the Russian People's Commissariat of Health (in fact the world's first Ministry of Health). It

combined pre-existing systems and forms of health care. Public health care continued the

traditions and the basic principles –it was free and accessible to all.

In general, the Soviet system tended to neglect primary care, and placed too much

emphasis on specialist and hospital care. The number of hospital beds and doctors in Soviet

Union left far behind other countries. Extensive building of hospitals and hyper production of

doctors resulted in irrational spending of budget which affected the quality of health care.

This system, in many cases subject to fair criticism, at the time, was really advanced.

Only the centralized state health care could effectively deal with mass epidemics in the country.

This model achieved considerable success in dealing with infectious and tuberculosis, typhoid

fever and typhus. Experience of the outbreak of cholera in 1970 was valued by the world

community as an exampl...

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...m a budget

model to a mixed public-private model in many ways destroyed the dignity of national

budget system, which included relatively high level of health care and its availability

In 2000, the World Health Organization produced ranking of the world's health systems

(the World Health Organization no longer produces such a ranking table, because of the

complexity of the task). According to the ranking from the best country to the worst, Russia

listed as the number 130 out of 190. World Health Organization found that France provided the

"best overall health care" in the world. France has a system of universal health care (coverage

for all members of society), largely financed by government . These statistic facts can prove

that universal free public healthcare care system can provide good quality of medical services

to all.

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