Russian PM Focuses on Funding to Treat Newborns

MOSCOW, December 22 (RIA Novosti) – Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has changed how treatment for newborns is to be funded, the government site said Saturday.

The changes relate to how subsidies will be distributed between publicly funded institutions working in this field. The aim of this move is to create a network of training centers to improve treatment for newborns with very low birth weights, and neonatal surgery.

These training centers will offer medical professionals opportunities to hone their skills, keep up to date with the latest technological advances in their field, and improve the level of care they are able to provide their patients.

Focusing on neonatal surgery and treating severely underweight newborns, these centers aim to support a continued increase in survival rates. Recent Russian data, and reports produced by the World Health Organization and UNICEF indicate that the country has seen infant mortality decline over recent years.

Successive Russian governments have made tackling the demographic crisis that country has faced since the collapse of the Soviet Union a key priority.

President Putin struck a positive note on this subject in his recent “State of the Nation” speech on December 19: “For the first time in our country’s recent history, natural population growth has been posted for five months in a row: the birth rate has finally started to exceed the death rate. In the past four years life expectancy in Russia has grown by almost 2.5 years and has exceeded 70 years.”

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