Towards Life Expectancy of 80 Years in Russia: Challenges and Solutions

13 February 2019


Increasing life expectancy is the most important investment in a country’s development  

“The most important investment in the development of a country is the development of human potential, increasing the life expectancy, improving standards of living and the health of the population,” Veronika Skvortsova, Minister of Healthcare of the Russian Federation.

“Spending on health and healthcare are no longer considered expenses. They’re investments, which is a very big political commitment,” Melita Vujnovic, Representative to the Russian Federation, Head of Country Office in the Russian Federation, World Health Organization.

“Before us is the goal of reaching a life expectancy of 80+ by 2030. To achieve this goal, in 2024 we must save an additional 230 thousand lives compared to 2017, which is 40 times larger than what we save now,” Veronika Skvortsova, Minister of Healthcare of the Russian Federation.

A higher life expectancy comes with slower aging 

“The average life expectancy increase the world over is 0.15 to 0.25 years,” Veronika Skvortsova, Minister of Healthcare of the Russian Federation.

“The latest studies prove that aging is slowing down, and if we study the cognitive capabilities of people in 2003–2013, we’ll find that aging has slowed down by about 10 years,” Evelina Zakamskaya, Editor-in-Chief, Doctor Channel; Anchor, Russia 24.

The population’s life expectancy depends on its prosperity

“In our country, 40% of a person’s life expectancy and health depends on their prosperity,” Guzel Ulumbekova, President of the Board, Association of Medical Societies for Quality of Medical Care and Medical Education; Head, Higher School of Healthcare Organization and Management.


Falling birth rate 

“Objectively speaking, the birth situation, the result of the drops of the war years and the 90s, will not allow for an increase in the absolute number of births. We will see a growth in the total coefficients of the birth rate, but, objectively, the absolute number of births will decrease,” Maxim Topilin, Minister of Labour and Social Protection of the Russian Federation.

The effects of increasing the retirement age on life expectancy has not been studied

“We increased the retirement age by 5 years. Who knows how that will affect life expectancy? This hasn’t been studied,” Alexander Sergeev, President, Russian Academy of Sciences.

Problems with early diagnosis of illnesses in the first stage of the healthcare system

“Early diagnosis is currently problem number 1. We have fairly well-equipped regional centres, <...> but the lack of early diagnosis results in a situation where the people who get to those centres are already in those stages of an illness where it either can’t be treated, or they can improve a person’s quality of life, but they will never be healthy again,” Andrey Nikitin, Governor of Novgorod Region.

Lack of training and retraining programmes for older generations

“A huge number of people need skills training, they need to be able to handle complex professions, and we can’t say that they all acknowledge and want to do this. <...> We must talk about a large-scale adult education programme,” Elena Shmeleva, Head, Talent and Success Foundation; Member of the Presidential Council for Science and Education.

Lack of healthy lifestyle campaigns

“It needs to be cool and fashionable to be sporty, flexible, and ready to handle the challenges of the day. 86% of those surveyed want to be physically active, and 68% of those same respondents aren’t doing this when they have the opportunity. It’s vital to take the idea of a healthy lifestyle and present it in the right way,” Aleksandr Karelin, Member of the Committee on Energy, State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation; Three-Time Olympic Champion in Greco-Roman Wrestling.

“When we talk about a healthy lifestyle, we know about the huge volume of unhealthy information on this topic, which is what our youth are drawing on,” Igor Lotakov, Country Managing Partner, PwC Russia.


Increasing peoples’ motivation to lead a healthy lifestyle

“The biggest part of living a healthy lifestyle must be done by the person themselves, which means that they must be informed and motivated, they must develop the right emotional mindset, and must be surrounded by the conditions necessary to lead a proper, healthy lifestyle. The main paradigm of contemporary healthcare is taking each person from being a passive participant to being an active partner in the care for their health,” Veronika Skvortsova, Minister of Healthcare of the Russian Federation.

“We talk a lot about the individual, on motivating them to live a healthy life. Our objective is to improve regulations in this area, including through limiting harmful factors,” Igor Kagramanyan, First Deputy Chair, Committee on Social Policy, Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation.

Healthcare starting from childhood 

“We can’t solve this problem if we don’t protect children. Children become adults that either die early, or, on the contrary, live a long life,” Leo Bokeria, Director, Bakulev National Medical Research Centre of Cardiovascular Surgery of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation.

Fully advocating for and supporting living a healthy life 

“Investments in sports infrastructure, in healthy lifestyle campaigns is simply profitable in the mid-term,” Alexander Brechalov, Head of the Udmurt Republic.

“Businesses play an important role in creating infrastructure for their employees and advocating for a healthy lifestyle, in part through providing financial motivation for necessary screenings. A company’s top management also plays a huge role by giving their employees someone to look up to,” Igor Lotakov, Country Managing Partner, PwC Russia.

Back to news