Life expectancy has dropped in Russia
Healthcare system streamlining result
Average life expectancy has decreased in Russia because of the pandemic. The Minister of Healthcare Mikhail Murashko said that. In 2020 and in two months of 2021, 223,905 Russians with coronavirus died, which was the main cause of death for 122,180 people.
In 2020, the natural population decline has more than doubled: from 316.2 thousand to 688.7 thousand people.
Any major epidemic is a sort of a test for the healthcare system and for the entire social structures of the country. And we see that Russia, like other capitalist countries, has done poorly at this exam. The Russian authorities failed to provide effective measures to localize the infection, as a result, the epidemic spread throughout the country, overloading the healthcare system so much that mortality increased not only from coronavirus itself but also from other diseases.
It never could have gone any other way, because as part of the healthcare system streamlining, the sanitary and epidemiological service was downsized (that only means that the capacity of the anti-epidemiological measures is limited), the number of beds in hospitals was reduced – there are no beds available to put patients – and the ambulance service was “optimized” which means that doctors will not be able to come in time for somebody’s call). It would have seemed that at the end of last year that the authorities should have put actions behind their words: some measures were announced to expand the number of hospitals and their bed capacity, to restore and improve the sanitary and epidemiological service. However, nothing has changed there. This means that there will be no U-turn of health care streamlining, the reforms are expected to continue further unchanged.
This can be explained by the fact that it is impossible to create a full-fledged free health care system without changing the rest of the state policy. To maintain and expand the whole health care system, an increase in funding is required, which means an increase in budget expenditures. New budget income is supposed to need more taxes to be paid. But it is impossible to raise taxation for the working people, there is nothing to take from them anymore, and raising taxes on the rich is impossible because the power serves the interests of the rich above all.