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Sunday, April 2, 2023

“Medvestnik”: in clinics in Europe and the United States, Russians are massively deprived of care


Russian patients, against the backdrop of hostilities in Ukraine and sanctions, face difficulties in seeking treatment abroad, informed “Bear Bear”. Experts have estimated the overall decline in the volume of medical tourism in Russia against the background of difficulties with air tickets and the issuance of visas at 30-40%.

The TopMedClinic service (which federates medical travel agencies) told the publication that one of the Swiss multidisciplinary hospitals and the German Charité have stopped treating Russians.

TopMedClinic CEO Victoria Sandaluk noted that some German public and university clinics have actually stopped working with Russians.

“They accept applications, but it is impossible to get a response. We can see that an unspoken rule has emerged not to deal with the Russians or to leave them “for later”. But seriously ill patients need treatment here and now,” she explained.

In addition, according to the expert, European clinics make it clear that they no longer look at the Russian market, for example, they have removed Russian-speaking operators.

One of the largest health insurance providers, Madanes, confirmed to Medvestnik that German public clinics do not take patients from Russia. “At a large, well-known medical institution, we were told that they could not officially refuse admission, but the registration procedure would be such that a patient from Russia would not come to them. They deliberately delay registration deadlines, ”said Elena Solopova, general director of the Madanes representative office in Russia and the CIS.

This information was confirmed by the founder of the service of German clinics, Maxim Rykov. According to him, absolutely all German public clinics, including Charite, no longer issue medical invitations to Russians.

“It’s a fact. The clinics tell us that they don’t even have the necessary forms in the system anymore. That is to say, they used to have a medical invitation form for the country ‘Russia’, and now it has been removed from the database,” he explained.

According to Rykov, a Russian patient can only be treated at the Charité or another public clinic if he finds a medical agency in the same city (for example, Berlin) that will take care of his registration. The cost of such a service, for example, in Munich is about 750 euros.

Representatives of the company CMP Germed GmbH, which deals with the design of the treatment in Germany, said that German clinics of different levels, “not only academics”, refuse to accept Russians. The company did not specify which institutions it was.

Charitable foundations also report refusals of treatment. So, at the Konstantin Khabensky Foundation they said that every year several people go abroad and need laser removal of epileptic foci. However, in 2022, American Texas’s Children’s Hospital “unilaterally” suspended cooperation.

Fund officials believe this is due to the clinic’s financial worries.

“Even if philanthropists pay for the planned hospitalization of the service, the child may need to pay for additional medical services already at the clinic (resuscitation measures or a second operation using the same method), and interruptions in the transfer money from Russia does not allow this,” writes Medvestnik. .

The German Charity and American Texas’s Children’s Hospital did not respond to inquiries from the publication.

Financial restrictions

According to the TopMedClinic service, the number of Russian citizens who traveled abroad for treatment in 2022 has decreased by at least 30-40%. Madanes noted that in the spring and summer of last year, demand for treatment abroad even increased by 2021 due to the easing of “covid” restrictions, but in the fall , it had almost halved compared to the summer months.

According to Rusfond, the number of children sent abroad has also almost halved: in 2021 there were 31, at the end of 2022 – 17. There were only four cancer patients on the 2022 list.

TopMedClinic CEO Viktoria Sandaluk explained that the number of patients leaving is due to a decrease in patient opportunities. “If before the work was smooth: we contacted the clinics and immediately took care of patient registration, now we either get answers that the clinic cannot accept a person because of a Russian passport, or the patient himself refuses, having learned about the cost of treatment, ”she noted.

Madanes calculated that the cost of treatment abroad increased by 15% during the year, and air tickets in some months could cost patients 700,000 rubles.

Payment for tickets is the responsibility of the parents of the wards – and if before the fund could help buy them using the Aeroflot “Miles of Mercy” program, now, due to the state corporation’s ban on flying to the ‘Europe and the United States, families pay the full cost of tickets from other airlines, added to Rusfond. According to representatives of the organization, the price of a flight for children now averages 200,000 rubles.

As for the issuance of medical visas, this process, according to MV, has become more complicated. Madanes explained that the period has increased to 10 days and more. Rusfond said patients sometimes wait for months for a visa.

According to TopMedClinic, the sanctions changed the ranking of popular treatment destinations among Russians. Thus, open Turkey, Israel and Korea became leaders.

Madanes clarified that previous aesthetic cosmetology was in first place, followed by oncological diseases, neurological operations, cardio and orthopedic surgery. Currently, 65% of all calls relate to serious illnesses – advanced stages of oncological diseases. Sandaluk confirmed this trend.

At the beginning of 2023, the situation with the availability of certain drugs in pharmacies worsened in Russia, including insulin, antidepressants, drugs for epilepsy and others, antipyretics and antibiotics for the treatment of influenza, SARS and coronavirus. On February 15, RBC wrote that in Russian dental clinics there was a shortage of the popular drug for local anesthesia Ubistezin, as well as problems with dental cement, dental drills and burs.

Copyright © 2023 The Eastern Herald.

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