Medvedev notes points of progress, shortcomings in modernizing healthcare

Dmitry Medvedev (RIA Novosti / Mikhail Klimentyev)
The cooperation with foreign specialists will help Russia to create high-tech medical equipment and new medications, President Dmitry Medvedev has said.

He said it was extremely important that leading foreign companies and industry-related higher-education institutions were involved in this project. The president was speaking at a session of the commission on modernization on Tuesday. Joint research centers and enterprises could be created, and innovative medical projects must be implemented through the vehicle of medical technoparks, as well as in the Skolkovo innovation center, he said.

Medvedev noted progress in producing medical equipment in Russia. But he stressed its high price often prevented it from competing with analogous foreign models. Over the last five years, much has been achieved in this area, he said. “Many samples of our medical equipment fully comply with international standards.”

But the equipment’s price is still a problem, the president noted. “It is clear if our medical equipment is produced at such price, they will always lose to foreign models.”

Russia is continuing the development of a new nuclear medicine project. The Federal Medico-biological agency has developed a program that envisages creating three high-tech centers of medical radiology by 2016. According to Medvedev, the creation of the project’s map has been completed. “Now it is necessary to decide on the sources of financing and to determine the scale of its implementation,” he noted.

The session that took place at the Medical History Museum, the First  Moscow State Medical University named after  I. M. Sechenov, focused on the development of children’s healthcare. The participants considered new pediatric strategies aimed at developing and introducing technologies that will save the lives of children and help them to stay healthy. Russia hopes to allocate 142 billion rubles (about $5 billion) for children’s medical careover the next two years.  

Speaking at the meeting, Medvedev also announced the formation of the new Federal Service for Intellectual Property. It will combine the powers of Rospatent and FAPRID (the Federal Agency for the Legal Protection of Results of Intellectual Activities). The president hopes that following reorganization, the government’s work in this area will be “more coherent.”