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The Concept is aimed at maintaining and improving the health of the people and reducing direct and indirect losses to society by decreasing illness and mortality rates.

The first stage of fundamental measures to implement the Concept concluded in 2000. The majority of planned measures were carried out. This made it possible to ensure stable funding for healthcare institutions, improve the efficiency of resource utilization, and reduce the deficit in the Program of State Guarantees for Providing Free Medical Care to the Population.

In the aim of improving the system for healthcare standardization, metrology, and certification, the Russian Ministry of Health and the State Committee for Standardization and Metrology (Gosstandart) have created the Interagency Coordinating Council. A program for the development of patient management protocols is being implemented successfully, and another program has been approved for the training of specialists in the fundamentals of healthcare standardization.

Work has been initiated to standardize medical services and regulate the provision of medications, equipment, and other medical products to hospitals and clinics.

The introduction of new medical technologies, despite financial resource constraints, has substantially increased the volume of unique types of medical care delivered to the public. For example, the number of heart operations involving the use of artificial blood circulation has doubled, while the volume of aortic-coronary shunting operations has increased by a factor of 2.5. The number of patients on hemodialysis has doubled, kidney transplants are up by 50 percent, and marrow transplants have increased tenfold.

Measures to implement several federal targeted programs, including Urgent Measures to Fight Tuberculosis, Diabetes, Vaccine Prophylaxis, Anti-HIV/AIDS, and others, have been developed and approved and are currently being carried out.

In 2001, plans call for the adoption of targeted programs on arterial hypertension, oncology, and sexually transmitted diseases. Programs are also being worked out in the areas of child health and the development of the sanatorium and health resort sector. In 2002, a unified comprehensive program on preventing and combating diseases of a social nature will also be prepared.

Despite insufficient financing, the potential of the medical science sphere has been maintained successfully. In recent years, Russian scientists have developed new technologies for diagnosing and treating oncological diseases and surgical pathologies with the use of plasma streams, ultrasound, lasers, and photodynamic therapy. Active efforts are under way to use genetic engineering technologies in the treatment of a number of serious diseases.

Achievement of the strategic goals of state healthcare policy depends to a decisive extent on how well the healthcare system can be managed. In order to facilitate implementation of the Concept, the Ministry of Health has established a Council on Regional Policy and placed Health Ministry representatives in the

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