Outcomes of the Healthy Life Forum: Towards 80+

13 February 2019

The Healthy Life Forum: Towards 80+ took place on 13 February 2019 as part of the Russian Investment Forum at the Main Media Centre in Sochi. The Forum was held with the support of the Russian Ministry of Health and brought together representatives of government agencies and the expert community and the heads of key ministries and departments to discuss integrated approaches to improving the country’s healthcare system and demographic policy.

The important social agenda and goals for strategic ways to develop the country and society, which were laid out by President Vladimir Putin in his May decrees, were further built upon in national projects and outlined in the Forum’s agenda.

The Forum programme included at least 30 events devoted to such themes as creating a healthy lifestyle among all ages of the population as well as implementing national projects in healthcare, demographics, science, and education. The Forum was attended by 3,000 people, including delegates from 21 countries: Argentina, Armenia, United Kingdom of Great Britain, Germany, Greece, Italy, Kazakhstan, Canada, China, the Netherlands, Portugal, the Republic of Korea, the Republic of Belarus, Serbia, Slovakia, USA, Ukraine, France, Switzerland, Estonia, Japan.

The Forum was also attended by representatives of government agencies, public figures, scientists, and doctors: Russian Minister of Labour and Social Protection Maxim Topilin, Vologda Region Governor Oleg Kuvshinnikov, Head of the Udmurt Republic Alexander Brechalov, Federal Service for Surveillance in Healthcare Director Mikhail Murashko, President of the Board of the Association of Medical Societies for Quality of Medical Care and Medical Education and Head of the Higher School of Healthcare Organization and Management Guzel Ulumbekova, Head of the WHO Country Office in the Russian Federation Melita Vujnovic, Head of the WHO European Office for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases and Programme Manager for Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity Joao Breda, as well as many other leading experts.

The main topics of discussion within the business programme of the Healthy Life Forum: Towards 80+ were: 

- The Contribution of Healthcare to Quality of Life;

- Demographics: On the Threshold of Societal Change;

- Infrastructure for Healthy Living.

A number of panel sessions were accredited by the Commission of the Coordinating Council for the Development of Continuing Medical and Pharmaceutical Education (CMPE) and provide advanced training for healthcare workers with a specialization in the ‘Organization of Healthcare and Public Health’.

During the ‘Hormones on the Path to Longevity’ meeting of the Russian Society of Young Endocrinologists, which was attended by international experts from Greece, Switzerland, and Italy, industry professionals had an opportunity to hold a detailed discussion about modern approaches in the treatment of diseases of the endocrine system.

The key event of the Forum was the plenary session ‘Towards Life Expectancy of 80 Years in Russia: Challenges and Solutions’, during which experts discussed such issues as demographic development, health protection, and improving the quality and life expectancy of the elderly generation. Speeches were delivered by representatives of specialized government agencies and regional leaders, including Russian Minister of Health Veronika Skvortsova, Director of the Bakulev National Medical Research Centre for Cardiovascular Surgery of the Russian Ministry of Health Leo Bokeria, Russian Minister of Labour and Social Protection Maxim Topilin, Novgorod Region Governor Andrey Nikitin, Director of the Talent and Success Foundation Elena Shmeleva, and Member of the State Duma Committee on Energy and three-time Olympic champion in Greek Roman wrestling Alexander Karelin. The discussion participants included First Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Social Policy Igor Kagramanyan, President of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Sergey Katyrin, President of the Russian Academy of Sciences Alexander Sergeev, and other public figures.

“I would like to thank the Forum organizers and the Government of the Russian Federation for being able to get together today to discuss such important topics as Russians’ health and the development of healthcare. This means that they have become a definite national priority. It’s no accident that the Russian Investment Forum in Sochi is kicking off with the consideration of key issues concerning healthcare since the most important investments in the development of the country are the development of human potential, increasing longevity of life, and improving the quality of life. We should attain life expectancy indicators of 80 years or more by 2030, so the main paradigm of modern Russian healthcare is for each person to transition from a passive participant to an active partner in health preservation. The government’s job is to support people in this endeavour”, Russian Minister of Health Veronika Skvortsova said in her address to the Forum participants.

Cooperation agreements were signed during the Forum, including: 

- an agreement between the Roscongress Foundation and Lomonosov Moscow State University

- an agreement between the Roscongress Foundation and the Society for the Organization of Healthcare and Public Health

- an agreement between the Russian Ministry of Health and the All-Russian Non-Government Organization of Small and Medium-Sized Businesses OPORA Russia

- a cooperation agreement between the Russian Ministry of Health and the Public-Private Partnership Development Centre

- a cooperation agreement between the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Tatarstan and Takeda Pharmaceuticals LLC

- a cooperation agreement between the holding company Shvabe of the Rostec State Corporation and the company Rusatom Healthcare, which is part of the Rosatom Group, to carry out joint projects to fight cancer. 

Companies that took part in the Healthy Life exhibition to present their achievements in domestic and foreign medicine as well as breakthrough technological and innovative projects that aim to improve the quality of life and life expectancy of the population included:

- Kivach Clinic, which specializes in integrative medicine;

- Axion Concern, which manufactures and sells medical and household devices;

- the Armed modern multidisciplinary treatment and diagnostic centre;

- BIOCAD, one of the largest international innovative biotechnological companies with a full cycle for drug development in Russia;

- the international research pharmaceutical company GSK, which develops and manufactures innovative drugs, vaccines, and health products;

- the biotechnology company MyGenetics;

- the global biopharmaceutical company Sanofi.

The semi-finalists of the Healthy Life Innovative Solutions Contest, along with the Skolkovo Foundation, presented their projects for therapeutic and diagnostic medical products and digital medicine that have great social importance and can significantly improve the quality of people’s lives.

The Forum venue also included a specialized Case Zone with a programme of thematic events devoted to the problems faced by the elderly generation today as well as ways to overcome the negative attitudes associated with old age, society’s growing need for physical activity and the popularity of fitness and sport as well innovative approaches to improving human health and the role of genetic engineering and IT technologies in the medicine of the future.

In addition, a pitch session was held by the semi-finalists in the Healthy Life Innovative Solutions Contest. Four finalists were selected from the 15 projects presented and will present their projects at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in June 2019. The contestants that took the top three prizes were awarded grants.

Russian Minister of Health Veronika Skvortsova took part in the awards ceremony of the All-Russian Contest ‘Best Public-Private Partnership Project in Healthcare’, where:

- the Novosibirsk Region won the nomination for ‘Best Region of the Russian Federation for the Development of Public-Private Partnership in Healthcare’.

- Yekaterinburg Eye Microsurgery Centre (Sverdlovsk Region) won the nomination for ‘Best Private Medical Organization Involved in the Implementation of the Regional Programme of State Guarantees of Free Medical Care to Citizens’ in the category ‘Provision of Specialized, Including High-Tech, Medical Care’.

- the ABV Laboratory Technologies Centre (Krasnoyarsk Territory) won the nomination for ‘Best Private Organization Outsourcing Medical Services’.

- the Concession Project for the Establishment of a Nephrology and Dialysis Department in the City of Izhevsk (Udmurt Republic) won the nomination for ‘Best Infrastructure Project Based on the Principles of PPP in Healthcare’.

Events that took place at the Forum venue to promote health should also be mentioned.

- Forum participants underwent DNA testing and in two weeks will receive their personal DNA report on more than 60 pages with unique information about their bodies and a selection of personal diets, physical exercise, cosmetics, and procedures.

- the National Health League organized a 10,000-step health route for everyone under the guidance of Director of the Bakulev National Medical Research Centre for Cardiovascular Surgery of the Russian Ministry of Health Leo Bokeria;

- the ‘Healthy Living Office’, where people could learn about their health and get screenings and individual research-based recommendations under the clear guidance of instructors.

The Main Media Centre had two mobile health centres operating out of GAZel NEXT vehicle as well as mobile HIV testing sites, where specialists from the regional AIDS centre conducted the necessary research with complete confidentiality. 

The general partner of the Forum was MSD, one of the leading international companies in healthcare. Official partners included the following 22 companies: Skolkovo Foundation, SANOFI, Promsvyazbank, the Novartis Group of Companies in Russia, BIOCAD, Abbott, Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited, Boehringer Ingelheim, the R-Pharm Group of Companies, the Association of International Pharmaceutical Manufacturers (AIPM), Russian Doctor Publishing House, Doctors Together, Medvestnik, Doctor TV Channel, Pharmatsevtichesky vestnik (Pharmaceutical Bulletin), the Poliklinika journal, Zdravookhranenie Rossii (Healthcare in Russia), the Remedium Group of Companies, MED-Info, and federal industry magazine Kto est kto v meditsine (Who’s Who in Medicine). 

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