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SPIEF Session Addresses Achieving National Goal of Increasing Russians’ Life Expectancy

10 June

The expert discussion ‘The 78+ Target: Responding to the Challenges of the Pandemic’ was held as part of the business programme of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. The session is part of the ‘Delivering on National Development Targets’.

The event was attended by Deputy Speaker of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation Galina Karelova, Minister of Health of the Russian Federation Mikhail Murashko, WHO Regional Director for Europe Hans Henri P. Kluge, State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation Deputy and Chairman of the State Duma’s Health Protection Committee Dmitry Morozov, Deputy Chairman of the Sberbank Executive Board Olga Golodets, Federal Service for Surveillance in Healthcare Head Alla Samoylova, President of Italy’s Puglia Region Michele Emiliano, and Nicholas Fuggle, Dunhill Clinical Research Fellow of the Rheumatology Registrar and Fellow of the Alan Turing Institute in the MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit at University of Southampton. The session was moderated by Doctor Channel Editor-in-Chief and Russia 24 Anchor Evelina Zakamskaya.

The pandemic may have shifted the timeline for achieving national targets, but it has not changed the strategic direction. Healthcare has transformed into a rapidly growing economic sector, affecting, among other things, industrial development. By increasing the pressure on medical infrastructure and stress testing the healthcare system as a whole, the crisis has forced the mobilization of all resources and shaped new ambitious goals, laying the groundwork for an explosion in the development of the healthcare system and the search for new methods of reducing the mortality rate of chronic, non-infectious diseases. However, the crisis has also raised awareness of the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle. The principles of health protection and disease prevention are society’s answer to the precedent of global epidemiological threats.

“A person’s path through life can be divided into three periods. During the first stage, we must prevent diseases or diagnose them early; in the older period, the key task of healthcare is to slow down the development of diseases; and, finally, the third stage is to manage patients with chronic diseases and ensure their quality of life. Another global task of the government is to combat additional factors that reduce the life expectancy of the population, including such factors as alcohol consumption and smoking. In order to understand the history of each person, a digital profile is created. Today, we not only can track the history of the disease, but also assess hereditary predispositions, which helps to both prevent diseases and develop targeted medicine. We are not only forming a digital profile of a person, but also of a region and the country as a whole,” Minister of Health of the Russian Federation Mikhail Murashko said.

Lessons have been learned from the pandemic, and work on the National Healthcare Project continues. The potential of all government managerial resources – both at the regional and national level – must be leveraged to achieve further progress towards these goals.

The session participants discussed how the pandemic has challenged primary healthcare, what are the main principles of modernizing the primary healthcare system, what are the main factors shaping the strategy for updating the healthcare system in a bid to reduce cardiovascular disease and cancer mortality rates and to improve the quality of and access to healthcare services, and will the threat of new epidemics foster an ever-expanding culture of healthy living?

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