Greetings to the Congress
While passing the Declaration about patients’ rights in Russia last year, we did not expect, indeed, that such a principle to respect a patient’s time would see the first reading in the new law ‘About the basics of healthcare…’ This comes when, these days, people often have to wait for assistance from doctors for years. We just thought that patients must have this right, and we wrote and said and, then, said again about it… Though, I am appealing to you now as the law has not been passed yet; the medical profession are in strong opposition to the introduction of this norm, but it is still in the draft law before the second reading, while we do our best to keep it there.
This is an example of our common achievement, which came in an almost surprising area. We have also managed that the law should maintain the priority of patient’s interests above the others, by which means we place the patient into the centre of the healthcare system for the first time in Russia…
Lots of aspects are getting started yet, and both we and authorities and physicians are only coming to realize them.
There is a hard continuous opposition with the government and medical community with regard to your and our constitutional right for free medical attention in public establishments. Authorities are trying to ensure their right to have paid services, however, we believe this casts the healthcare into chaos and breaches the constitutional law of the nation.
The draft law mentions orphan diseases but it does not implicate any additional rights for the patients, which turns this mention into a mere declaration. Nevertheless, the latter lets us see where to go, and, of course, it is important that the government has recognized the problem … again, through our combined efforts but now with the medical community.
These plain examples show that, so far, much has been done and little have we moved forward. Yet, the main thing is perhaps that we do it together, sometimes not all in chorus or in tune, but we learn to work in a team and we can really do something.
No doubt, the 2nd All-Russian Patients’ Congress will also bear decisions that will make a basis for our common activities in the year to come and we shall be able to rest on because those decisions belong to each of us and are joint deeds, i.e. they are not individual matters. We have to go on learning not only to develop decisions together but also to bring them to implementation, which is what we are desperately in need!
Let us learn to achieve and be successful together!
President, ‘Patients League’