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War in Ukraine likely contributing to doctor shortages in Russia

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Russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine is likely contributing to a shortage of doctors in Russia, the U.K. Defense Ministry reported on Feb. 11.

Up to 3,000 Russian medical staff have likely been mobilized to “assist in combat medical care,” while up to 2% of healthcare professionals left Russia following the September 2022 mobilization.

It indicates that the war in Ukraine is “contributing to a shortage of healthcare professionals across Russia,” according to the ministry.

The ministry said there is a shortage of doctors in 22 Russian regions, “and in another seven, it is assessed as severe.”

Also, last November, the Russian Health Ministry reported that the medical sector lacked 26,500 doctors and 58,200 nurses. The January 2024 estimate shows that the number of doctors in Russia fell by 7,500 in the previous 15 months, with many blaming long working hours and low salaries, reads the report.

In its report on the 2024 budget, the Russian State Duma Committee on Regional Policy said that the “poorest regions of Russia would have problems financing medical salaries,” according to the report.

“The heavy resource and financial burden of supporting Russia’s war in Ukraine is negatively affecting a range of civilian sectors that serve the Russian population,” the ministry said.

“There are no signs that the trend of reducing numbers of healthcare professionals in Russia will change during 2024.”

Read also: Could mobilization, battlefield defeats cost Putin his regime?

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