What will happen to medicine in Russia?

May 30, 2022
by Alexei Kashcheev
Famous neurosurgeon Alexei Kashcheev discusses the future of medicine in Russia, as well as the problems Russian doctors are facing amid global sanctions and “cancel culture.”
Kashcheev is convinced that Russian medicine can avoid a catastrophe in the near future – it has the capacity to bend without breaking and has built up reserves of vital drugs. Meanwhile, there is no mass ban on the import of foreign drugs and substances into Russia yet, so even those now in short supply will not completely disappear. Still, due to logistics problems, prices for medicines are set to rise and supply disruptions will occur. It’s telling that instead of souvenirs from a recent trip to Armenia, Kashcheev himself brought back 8 kg of rare drugs.

Kashcheev says helping the patient is the most important thing for him as a doctor. Therefore, it doesn’t matter who produced the medicines and medical equipment that end up in the hands of a specialist. The state should help doctors do their job: if there are no Russian drug analogues available, the state should supply foreign ones, disregarding “patriotic” rhetoric about rejecting everything foreign. Kashcheev believes that all patients must be cared for, regardless of their political position.

In response to a question about the impact of sanctions and “cancel culture” on the professional development of doctors, Kashcheev said that science and education in Russia are now being dealt a major blow. In particular, it’s becoming impossible for Russian physicians and their foreign peers to exchange best practices. Young professionals do not want to be part of an isolated medical community and are considering leaving. It is becoming increasingly difficult to organize high-quality clinical trials. If nothing is done, all this could lead to the complete degradation of national medicine, from which ordinary people will suffer the most.

At the same time, Kashcheev advised readers not to panic, to lead a healthy lifestyle and stock up on necessary medicines. He pointed out that “no situation is absolutely hopeless.” This is especially true for doctors, as they are “... people with a moral compass inside them. And it is stronger than the horror that is happening around us.”

Digest written by the Russia.Post editorial team. See the original here.
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