Do Most Russians Have Confidence in Their Country’s Health Care System?

Although Russia ostensibly offers free health care to all of its citizens, the state-funded system is woefully lacking, with outdated medical practices, faulty equipment, and a lack of available hospital beds and specialists. In 17,500 towns and villages across Russia, there is no access to medical care at all. According to a Voice of America article from 2011, about 300,000 residents of Moscow routinely seek out alternative healers instead. There are around 800,000 occult and faith healers in Russia, compared to only 640,000 registered physicians.

Seeking alternatives to Russia's health care system:

  • Alternative healers in Russia treat people with herbs, often recommend the use of crystal balls to cure ailments, and sometimes either cast or clear spells for suffering patients.

  • In some areas of the country, doctors and nurses make as little as $250 USD a month, which is just slightly above the official poverty level.

  • Low pay and high stress for legitimate medical providers has occasionally resulted in violence at state-run hospitals. A Siberian dermatologist was recently gunned down by an unhappy patient, while a doctor at a state hospital in Belgorod was jailed for nine years after killing a patient with a blow to the head following a dispute.

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More Info: VOA News

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