Mikhail Mishustin: “The January holiday season is an opportunity to relax, to care for one’s health, to get vaccinated and revaccinated if six months or more have passed since the first jab. We can help doctors fight the virus.”
Excerpts from the transcript:
Meeting of the Presidium of the Government Coordination Council on countering the spread of Covid-19 in Russia
Mikhail Mishustin: Good afternoon, colleagues.
Today, we will hold the final 2021 meeting of the Government Coordination Council on countering the spread of Covid-19 in Russia.
During New Year celebrations, we will continue to maintain the national healthcare system in a state of high alert so patients can be treated without interruption all over the country. The virus is still with us. Considering the spread of the latest strain whose symptoms may resemble flu or an acute respiratory viral disease, it is now important to seek medical attention at the first signs of illness without waiting for the situation to get worse. The first three days play the most decisive role. Specialists will be able to diagnose the condition of patients and quickly prescribe a treatment.
Of course, the January holiday season is an opportunity to relax, to care for one’s health, to get vaccinated and revaccinated if six months or more have passed since the first jab. We can help doctors fight the virus.
Our medical personnel continue to work under very complicated conditions. And the Government will continue to support them, including through special social payments for those treating Covid-19 patients. We have extended this benefit throughout 2022; a resolution has been signed. Under the President’s decision, medical and social workers will receive twice as much during the New Year holiday season. The Government will allocate over 128.5 billion roubles for these purposes and to continue these payments for the first six months of 2022. Doctors, paramedics, nurses and orderlies, ambulance drivers, as well as employees of medical institutions’ social organisations, will receive this benefit. They help fight the virus at retirement homes, those for disabled persons and other social institutions.
Colleagues, I am asking you to closely monitor the process, so that funding can reach recipients quickly and on time. The President’s instructions must be fulfilled in full.
One more decision has been made. We will allocate nearly 3.5 billion roubles for insurance payments to our medical personnel. They will be paid to those who get ill while helping patients who have contracted the coronavirus.
And one more thing: the President pointed out during a meeting with Government members last week that we must continue to monitor the support for our healthcare system. This remains one of the Government’s priorities. We will continue to deal with current issues to enhance the quality and accessibility of medical care for our citizens and will also address the HR issue in the healthcare system.
Regrettably, there is a shortage of specialists even in large cities, but the shortage is especially serious in towns and rural areas. Any doctors, paramedics, nurses and obstetricians who accept jobs there will receive a special one-time payment of up to 1 million roubles depending on their position and the region they go to. These payments are even higher – up to 2 million roubles – in the Far Eastern regions. This support measure has proved to be effective. The additional funds will be dispatched to the regions that need them most: the republics of Mordovia and Tyva, the Altai Territory and the Samara Region. They will be able to hire the medical specialists they need. We will continue this programme next year.