The event, which took place on 6–8 July 2022 and was organized by the Russian Ministry of Health jointly with the Roscongress Foundation, brought together key leaders in the Russian healthcare industry and was open to any specialists who were interested in attending. The Congress highlighted some of the main challenges facing the system today and provided an assessment of the resources needed to overcome them and possible effects. Participants and experts expressed hope that the Congress will become a regular event in the annual business calendar.
The flagship Congress was attended by representatives of all fields of healthcare who are responsible for making management decisions: from the heads of the central office of the Russian Ministry of Health, the Federal Service for Surveillance in Healthcare, and the Compulsory Health Insurance Fund to regional ministers of health, specialized deputy governors, chief visiting specialists, representatives of research institutes, and heads of clinics and their individual units.
“We can confidently call this Congress an event of a new level. This deep dive into the most important problems of the medical field, which was unprecedented in terms of the openness of industry leadership and was fully accessible to all interested physicians and employees in related specialties, illustrates how the level of discussion between doctors and leaders of the [healthcare] system is changing. We are transitioning from a model of a top-down approach to a live dialogue with specialists and a flexible and rapid transformation on this basis. The Congress showed that the event not only provides members of the medical community or specialists at any level of the medical care system in the regions with the opportunity to be heard, but that conclusions will be drawn and crucial decisions will be made based on a dialogue with them. I think it would be advisable to hold such an event on an annual basis,” Advisor to the Russian President Anton Kobyakov said.
Russian Minister of Health Mikhail Murashko noted that 67 specialized deputy governors from different regions took part in the Congress, which demonstrates the high level of representation at the event.
During the Congress, 33 specialized sessions were held and broadcasted online to a broad audience. More than 8,000 people took part in the Congress, including doctors, paramedical personnel, biologists, pharmacists, scientists, as well as workers in related fields who are involved in solving healthcare problems. Over the course of three days, the sessions generated more than 70,000 views. The Congress speakers included 120 experts in various specializations. Doctors were awarded points from the continuing medical education system for participating in the online broadcasts.
The participants discussed some of the most pressing issues in the current stage of the healthcare industry’s development in Russia: digital transformation, informatization, staffing of the industry, drug safety, import substitution in the production of medical products, the restoration of the nation’s health following the COVID-19 pandemic, and the transition to a patient-centred model for assessing the effectiveness of medical organizations based on measuring their satisfaction with services.
“Over the past three days, we have been actively working on coming up with key decisions for the development of the healthcare system for the upcoming period. In the format of an open and honest dialogue, Congress participants were able to address the most relevant and pressing issues concerning the industry’s development and jointly develop proposals that will serve as a guide to specific actions in real life. I see the horizontal connections that have been created as a substantial result of the Congress’s work, which, I am certain, will significantly increase the speed and efficiency of solutions to a number of regional problems. Following the event, instructions will be developed for the regions to create a further strategic action programme that will contribute to the achievement of national goals,” Minister of Health Mikhail Murashko said in his closing speech at the Congress.
The specialized sessions not only addressed the challenges facing the industry, but also the results that have been achieved. In particular, figures were announced showing how quickly the Russian regions developed digital maturity in their respective healthcare sectors in the first quarter of 2022. The Bryansk Region came in first, followed by the Republic of Chuvashia, where the telemedicine system encompasses 100% of medical institutions. In addition, in the Orenburg Region, the mortality rate from acute myocardial infarction was slashed by 50% compared with 2019. This was achieved due to the modernization of vascular centres and the creation of proper patient routing. In the Tula Region, a cottage community is being built for top medical specialists, while the Blokhin National Medical Research Centre of Oncology, together with the Novosibirsk Institute of Nuclear Physics, is implementing a project to provide targeted boron-neutron capture therapy for disseminated malignant neoplasms.
The Congress also featured offline strategic sessions for participants: business meetings with senior industry officials and representatives of key regulators, a conference of CIS countries on the International Classification of Diseases, 11th Revision (ICD-11) with WHO representatives, a forum of healthcare organizers, meetings of the National Medical Chamber and the School of Ministers of Health, partner sessions, and other events. They were attended by more than 1,000 specialists.