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Healthy Life Expectancy: The Foundation of Social Development

15 February 2019
Продолжительность здоровой жизни — основа развития общества


Increasing healthy life expectancy requires a comprehensive solution

“When we started working on the first national project, we had virtually nothing in terms of the most dangerous diseases. If you take cardiovascular pathology, [...] we have high-tech medical care, while the number of operations during that period was measured at figures of up to 100,000. At the time the national project was launched, there were 85,000–90,000 operations per year [...] Now we are doing about 1 million such operations”, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said.

“Active longevity is only possible when a person is socialized in society, when a person feels like he/she is needed, and when the state makes various efforts for this purpose”, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets said. 

“A person’s lifestyle contributes at least 60% to his/her health. That’s why people themselves can make the greatest contribution. Our job is to get each person actively involved in the process of taking care of their health”, Russian Minister of Health Veronika Skvortsova said.

Boosting life expectancy is one of the state’s constant priorities

“Since 2012, the government has had significant success in prolonging life expectancy — it has increased by 2.5 years”, said Guzel Ulumbekova, 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. 

“Some of Russia’s most important strategic goals are to increase life expectancy to 78 years by 2024, including healthy life to 67 years, and improve the quality of life”, said session moderator Evelina Zakamskaya, Editor-in-Chief of the Doctor Channel and a Russia 24 anchor.

Regions and business can make a significant contribution to solving the problem

"We have opened active longevity centres in all 26 urban districts [of the Vologda Region] [...] Now, 80,000 veterans go to these centres”, said Oleg Kuvshinnikov, Governor of the Vologda Region and Chairman of the Healthy Cities, Districts, and Villages Association.

“Some of the most serious internal sources for increasing life expectancy for the future are all connected to corporate health programmes”, Russian Minister of Labour and Social Protection Maxim Topilin said.


Low life expectancy among men

“If we look at regional peculiarities, Russian men live 12 years fewer if we take the average life expectancy”, Head of the Chuvash Republic Mikhail Ignatiev said.

Lack of tools for an active life among the elderly

“There are a large number of pools, but there are no water programmes that would be well received by older people. For example, water aerobics for older people. We have so few of these programmes that we can count the number on one hand in Russia”, Founder Anastasia Lazibnaya said.


Improvements in medical care and check-ups for the population 

“As much as I would like for Skolkovo technology and digital medicine to manage to add six years to life expectancy over the next six years, it won’t succeed in doing so. We need to focus specifically on classical medicine”, Skolkovo Foundation Senior Vice President for Innovations Kirill Kaem said.

“The Ministry of Health has developed a special preventive programme and a special program for check-ups for the elderly, and it started working on 1 January 2018. We have special preventive counselling for the elderly”, Russian Gerontology Clinical Research Centre Director Olga Tkacheva said. 

“One of the things that needs to be done is to reform home care. Because that’s where non-communicable diseases develop [...] We need to be able to identify a disease at an early stage. Early diagnosis and advice, and help people change their lifestyle. Our healthcare professionals and doctors should provide better consultations and guide their patients”, said Joao Breda, Head of the European Office for Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases and Programme Manager for Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity at the World Health Organization.

Expanding social support measures

“Social support measures should be expanded both for veterans and to stimulate fertility”, Kuvshinnikov said.

Encouraging employers to care for the health of their employees

“Employers are not only interested in the health of their workers, but are also willing to invest in it. Nevertheless, though, it is better to encourage them with systemic measures so that this becomes a large-scale movement”, President of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs Alexander Shokhin said.

“More and more employers are not only paying attention to creating safe working conditions, but also are involved in combatting non-communicable diseases”, Sanofi Russia General Director Oksana Monge said.

“Many companies are now vaccinating their employees. Vaccines aren’t only for children now, but are also for adults, and even for old people. Our vaccinations are available, and you can always get them. This has a positive effect on the epidemiological situation in the country”, MSD Russia General Director Marwan Akar said.

Educating the public about ways to take care of their health

“In 2011, a call centre was created, and at least 1 million Russians used it [...] Callers under 35 years old account for 58% of calls. Its efficiency is among the most advanced, and we are in the top five of the world from all the 64 existing services”, said Petr Yablonskiy, Director of the St. Petersburg Research Institute of Phthisiopulmonology of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation.

“Almost half of the people who are cared for by their family may die prematurely simply because the family cannot provide this care,” said Xenia Frank, Chair of the Supervisory Board at the Elena and Gennady Timchenko Charitable Foundation.

Developing international medical cooperation

“We need to integrate into the global medical community so that our doctors have access to the latest treatment protocols and can use them fairly quickly in everyday treatment”, said Ekaterina Timofeeva, a Partner and Managing Director of The Boston Consulting Group.