Healthcare in Russia - statistics & facts

In 2018, per capita health expenditure in Russia amounted to over 1.5 thousand U.S. dollars, which was significantly lower than in most developed nations in the world. Furthermore, spending on healthcare as a GDP share in Russia was lower than the percentage most other European states expended on the sector. The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic demonstrated the significance of funding in the health system, placing Russia among most affected countries. In February 2020, 53 percent of Russians were confident that their national healthcare services were prepared to effectively deal with the disease.

There were around 5.3 thousand hospitals in Russia in 2018, indicating a decrease in healthcare institutions in the country since the beginning of the decade. Alongside this decline in infirmaries, the number of hospital beds in Russia per 10,000 population fell over the same period. These developments could be related to the healthcare reform in the country in 2014. In an attempt to improve the quality of healthcare and wages of medical staff, the government reduced the number of hospitals and jobs in the industry. There were approximately 48 doctors per 10,000 people in Russia in 2018, a figure that started gradually rising after a sharp decline between 2014 and 2015.

During the COVID-19 outbreak, over 600 thousand people were placed under medical observation and treatment in Russian hospitals, and the number of tests conducted in the country was one of the highest in Europe. On average across Russia, the health system had 28 ventilators and 40 infectious diseases beds per 100,000 population. In April 2020, over 40 percent of Russians expressed their wish for a greater respect for the doctor's profession after the pandemic.

Since 1990, life expectancy at birth in Russia improved year-on-year, recorded at 72.9 years in 2018. With 573 fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants, the most common cause of death was diseases of the circulatory system. Respiratory organs diseases had the highest morbidity among major disease classes. One fifth of newly diagnosed cancer cases in 2018 were of the fourth stage. In the same year, nine federal subjects, or regions of Russia had less than 20 oncologists. Only one specialist in cancer treatment worked in the Nenets Autonomous Okrug with a population of 44 thousand.

According to survey results, Russians mostly maintained their personal health by not smoking and not drinking alcohol. The country ranked ninth worldwide by share of population disagreeing with effectiveness of vaccines. With digital health becoming a societal trend, early one fifth of Russians admitted they could not imagine their lives without fitness and telemedicine. In 2019, 18 percent of Russians used wearable electronic devices, while 57 percent of sold wearables were fitness trackers.

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Healthcare in Russia

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Health system

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