The realities of surgery in Russia today

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As Russia makes the transition from communism to capitalism, compounded by the effects of the economic crisis of 1998, there is no area where the consequences are more acutely apparent than in the healthcare system, where quality has declined dramatically.1 Although the Russian constitution still guarantees universal access to medical care, the extent to which this is realised has become a lottery. Top national centres in big cities such as St Petersburg and Moscow still receive central funding. Many municipal hospitals rely on local government funding and an increasing proportion of Russians now pay to attend private clinics or private wards in government hospitals.2

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