In Russia, it is better not to get sick. “The best things our medics have are the ones they stole from Ukrainians”
Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images
Staff shortages, problems with the availability of life-saving drugs and even prostheses, and the high mortality rate of wounded soldiers – due to the attack on Ukraine, Russia is facing a health care crisis. The Kremlin, however, does not seem to notice the problem.
Two months before the Russian invasion of Ukraine inhabitants of Petrokamenskoye in the Sverdlovsk region in the central Russia virtually no access to health care. By decision of the authorities, the only hospital and clinic within a radius of many kilometers were closed. All because the facility lacked a director and 17 doctors and nurses. They quit their jobs because they had not been paid for several months. They were offered employment in Nizhny Tagil, but none of them wanted to commute more than 60 kilometers to work every day.
Apart from the inhabitants of Petrokamenskoye, people living in 28 other nearby villages are also unable to see a doctor due to the closure of the hospital. It is not known when and if the regional authorities will become interested in this problem and try to find a solution.
The Russian health service was bad long before the aggression against Ukraine, and after it it is only worse.
They’re leaving because they don’t want to go to the front
There is no official information on how many medics left Russia in total after the start of a full-scale war in 2022. According to the data of the border service, over 150 doctors emigrated from the country only on the day of the announcement of conscription to the army. How many in the next days, weeks and months? Some circumstantial evidence may indicate the scale of the phenomenon. Channel on Telegram called “Relocation of medics to Kazakhstan” Before the mobilization, it had only a few hundred members. Today, there are over 5,000. New posts about how to get to this country and find a job are appearing all the time.
Last Tuesday, journalists from the “Sistema” investigative project described the escape of 250 doctors who left Russia shortly after announcing the mobilization for a fictitious scientific congress. The plane was chartered, all participants of the flight had invitations to the congress “to be held in Armenia”. When it turned out on the day of departure that the airport in Yerevan did not accept planes, invitations to the congress in Kazakhstan were quickly printed. But they were not the only ones to leave Russia.
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