May 16, 2009

Medvedev promises healthcare upgrades

Russian President Dmitry Medevdev admitted Saturday that Russian public hospitals offer substandard care and need to be improved with new investments.

Speaking to Russia's Vesti television news channel, Medvedev said his government is targeting regional improvements for the healthcare facilities, RIA Novosti reported.

The president said most public hospitals didn't measure up to the best private institutions in the country, adding, We are all aware that treatment in these is far from exceptional. It is a complex problem, but we need to resolve it with with clear, concrete and targeted methods.

Medvedev said in the interview there were plans to build 300 cardiac care units in Russia, noting that heart disease is the country's biggest killer. Russia, he said, is facing a falling population. The country's November 2007 population was 142 million, down 207,600 from the previous year, RIA Novosti reported.