Firstov Stepan



Physician, Politician, Social Activist, Associate Member of the World Medical Association

«The most important condition to implement the human right to health is professionally skilled and responsible for their work physicians. To protect a physician means to protect a patient.»

Stepan Firstov

Home News Stepan Firstov: "Doctors have high a responsibility. The price of a mistake is people's lives."

Stepan Firstov: "Doctors have high a responsibility. The price of a mistake is people's lives."

23 November 2020

Chelyabinsk region has returned 500,000,000 rubles allocated for programs of vital importance to the federal budget.

Deputies of the Legislative Assembly of Chelyabinsk region at the last budget committee meeting on November 19 criticized the report of the Minister of Health, Yuriy Semenov, dedicated to the situation within the drug supply chain to the South Ural during the pandemic period. But not only this items caused a violet reaction of deputies. There were many more claims to the Minister of Health. And all of them were of current interest.

Theme of accessibility to medicines for coronavirus for people was being discussed not for a long time by the Minister cheerfully operated various numerals. But deputies were full of clarifying questions to Yuriy Semenov, considering the real situation with coronavirus medicines in the region.

Critical comments from the audience were not only about this challenges. As it turned out, dissatisfaction of deputies was caused by very dubious management decisions of the Ministry of Health touching the theme of opening the infectious disease centre in Malaya Sosnovka as well as spending financial resources allocated to improve the Health of the region.

As follows from the report of the head of the regional Ministry of Health: «The system employs 95 medical organizations, 7,761 doctor, 1,913 paramedics and 110 pharmacy warehouses.» To purchase medicines for coronavirus infection the Governor of Chelyabinsk region, Alexey Teksler, invested 67,3 million rubles to supply inpatients with all necessary things for the period of 2-2,5 months. The Federal Centre allocated 130 million rubles. Money had already been in turn. 119,2 million rubles was spent to entering into government contracts.

According to the Minister: «We are working with manufacturers and suppliers. There are certain positions having problems, but they are being solved.» Yuriy Semenov thinks, that till early December all contracts will have been singed. The region will receive all necessary medicines for inpatients.

For a series of numerals given into the presentation, it was very difficult to identify whether medical institutions were provided with medicines for COVID-19. And as noted by the Head of the regional Parliament, Vladimir Myakush: «We want to know how the Ministry provides medicines to the medical institutions to fight against COVID-19. I do not understand today from the report whether we are ready to fight against this infection.» He underlined, that the main idea for that day was to defeat coronavirus. But the first pharmacy raid showed that many medicines were not available. The deputies intended to continue monitoring pharmacies. Yuriy Semenov assured, that issues devoted to the necessary medicines included in the list of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation have been solved.

The Head of the Federal Supervisory Agency for Health Care and Social Development, Larisa Zemlyanskaya, in her co-report noted, that coronavirus was more dangerous for people with chronic diseases. Providing them with medicines was no less important, than purchasing drugs for coronavirus. She reported, that all hospital bases were provided with medicines to fight against COVID-19, although there were certain challenges due to the growing demand. To treat inpatients getting free medicines and in the retail network there was no all necessary medicines, because regional pharmacy warehouse did not ensure its availability in recent months. L. Zemlyanskaya touched in her report the issue of sharply inflated prices set by drug manufacturers even for the most common medicines, noting that the current situation had been reported to the Federal Antimonopoly Service.

When discussing the report of the regional Health Minister, deputies noted absence of critical analysis of situation related to the access of medicines for COVID-19. As deputy Valariy Kolokoltsev said: «In pharmacies you may see crowds of people. They buy everything, even, what is not in need. Just in case. What are we talking about right there?» He was supported by the other deputies also not satisfied with the report.

Deputy, Head of the FMC clinic, Presidium Member of the Society of Doctors of Russia, leader of the regional branch of the Party of Pensioners, Stepan Firstov, in his presentation highlighted one more and no of less importance topic, that medicines without doctors could not cure patients. Only doctor can find necessary treatment tools in each and every case and choose optimal medicines. And today the region faces challenge of chronic shortage of medical personnel. The problem is really acute: if we take no actions today, there will be simply nobody to treat. According to Stepan Firstov the shortage of medical personnel in the region is about 3,000 people, and approximately 40% of HCW are people of retirement and pre-retirement age. Workload on HCW is enormous and the loss of highly skilled specialists increases.

«Nowadays management decisions related to the medical personnel are not fully thought out,» said Stepan Firstov: «Recently we were happily informed that a large infectious disease department was opened. But who will treat people therein? When the same projects are being planned, the first thing is to think where to get medical staff. … Infectious disease department in Malaya Sosnovka is an unreasonable project, which will draw back all infectious disease specialists. There are few of them…»
As Stepan Firstov marked, in the current complicated situation doctors simply could not manage their time to treat sick patients. For instance, medical experts of insurance companies coworking today with the Compulsory Health Insurance Fund declared that all medical notes about COVID-19 deaths were compiled in a wrong manner and had many shortcomings in the prescription of medicines. There were many under-prescribed medicines.

«The authorities tell us about accessibility of more than 500 places for patients. But I am not heard of additional involvement of doctors, for example, from another region with better health care workforce. And it should have been thought above all. Therapists are not able to treat infectious diseases. No one even short-term refresh course will be helpful. We don't know how long this pandemic will last. It is quite possible that COVID-19 will be followed by COVID-26. But with this approach, sooner or later, there will be nobody to treat people. Doctors will simply leave, because of the extremely workload, high responsibility. And moreover, the price for a mistake is people's lives. We are now ringing to bells to keep the doctors who are in the system.» said Stepan Firstov.

In addition, COVID-19 patients, as a rule, already have many chronic diseases. And simply they will be treated by nobody. Deputy expressed his concerns about such a catastrophic situation with region provision of HCW and the Compulsory Health Insurance Fund returning 500,000,000 rubles allocated by the Federal centre to Chelyabinsk region, precisely to eliminate the shortage of HCW. The programs «Zemskiy doctor» and «Zemskiy paramedics» showed no expected effect. According to plan 70 doctors and 80 paramedics of the Ministry of Health are to be sent to countryside. And the specialists of the Ministry of Health were succeed to find only 32 and 28 applicants.

It is obvious, that the problem is acute and need to be solved momentously, that is why the Party of Pensioners insists on a working group or a commission in the social politics committee in the Legislative Assembly of Chelyabinsk region with active role of the Ministry of Health and governor’s deputies chairing social policies. Stepan Firstov noted: «There is a need to take control under the situation. This will help us solve issues quickly and effectively. If we are nothing to do, thus, there will be nobody to treat people.» This proposal was supported by the Chair of the regional Parliament, Vladimir Myakush, and all attended deputies.