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23 Jan, 2008 18:50

Healthcare gets shot in the arm

Medical facilities in Russia are stepping into the 21st century with the appearance of 15 new clinical centres. That's according to Vladimir Putin, who is in the city of Penza to visit a hospital specialising in complex operations.

Putin is accompanying presidential candidate Dmitry Medvedev, the man responsible for Russia's key national projects.

The fifteen medical centres will specialise in operations such as open heart surgery, transplants and removing brain tumors, with each one able to carry out 6,000 procedures a year.

It's hoped that by 2010 the centres will account for 80 per cent of these types of operations.

“Two years ago we had the choice between expanding already existing centres in big cities like Moscow, Saint Petersburg and others, or to invest into regional ones. Last year 170,000 complex operations were carried out, three times more than in 2005. Our ability to offer such operations to a wider number of people will increase by building these centres,” Vladimir Putin said.

Russia's President has also pointed out that improving child and mother care is of the utmost importance and asked Dmitry Medvedev to pay special attention to that.

Medvedev said much effort will be devoted to training staff and boosting Russia's own medical industry.

“With the appearance of these new centres the training of staff comes to the fore. We will need to ensure an inflow of trained specialists to these centres to make sure that doctors get all the skills they need in the best clinics in Russia and abroad. Especially, taking into consideration the equipment, which will be updated on a frequent basis,” Dmitry Medvedev said.