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  • Highlights from a recent interview with the Director of the Russian Department for Innovation Policy and Science, Nikolai Semenov, on the state of Russia’s national “Health” modernization program

Highlights from a recent interview with the Director of the Russian Department for Innovation Policy and Science, Nikolai Semenov, on the state of Russia’s national “Health” modernization program

  • The draft of the national “Health” program up to 2020 allocates about 30 trillion rubles (920 billion USD) on health care.  Already today the State spends about 2 trillion rubles per year on health care.

 

  • In the first place among innovative technologies is biomedicine. According to experts, the 21st century is the century of biomedical technology. It is from that area which we will depend on progress in the treatment of those diseases for which today's medicine is ineffective. In addition, now there are real prospects of growing organs and other systems of the human body artificially. With the advancement of biotechnology for prolonging life there are some bold expectations that the human lifespan in the 21st century will be at least 100 years.

 

  • The Ministry of public health conducted a survey of more than 200 subordinate organizations (more than 5000 medical professionals) to identify existing capabilities in innovative fields of science, including biomedicine.  We compared laboratories (both domestic and foreign) in terms of their citations in national and foreign scientific literature.  The results were rather disappointing:  domestic scientists, for the most part, are quite weak. There are many laboratories whose work is not published in peer journals abroad or in Russia.  In order to reverse this trend, in 2011, we have teamed up with leading scientists of the Russian Academies of Science and Medical Science in order to develop scientific platforms that focus on such priority directions as molecular genetics, proteomics, Molecular Physiology, bioengineering, cell and tissue technology, bioinformatics.

 

  • Four initial directions (Oncology, microbiology, cardiovascular diseases, human ecology) in which we have already begun to establish epidemiological models and innovative biotechnology products, started in 2011.  We plan to eventually create 14 such directions for innovation. To implement the plan an additional 1 billion rubles (30 million USD) was allocated which will be used to purchase modern equipment, such as DNA sequencers, cytofluorimetry, mass-spectrometers.  Such an approach will yield concrete tangible results as soon as next year. 

 

  • In each region there are medical facilities that are specifically used for unique, hi-tech or very expensive healthcare, including cellular technologies, robotic technology, information technology, genetic engineering, and so on.  By 2015, this type of aid will almost entirely come with the system of compulsory health insurance.

 

  • In terms of the personnel problem, there has been success recently with new faculty-oriented training of researchers and innovators, and improved material and technical equipment of institutions of higher education. We cannot fail to note the important task of raising wages in the practical level which has already begun.
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