Healthcare System Before the Soviet Union’s Fall

The Soviet Union started in and ended in 1991. They were first in the world in terms of health care systems. It has the greatest number of hospitals with well organized and structured systems although they were considered to be rigid and hierarchical in structure and administration. This is attributed to their centralized style of their government systems.

Healthcare services were rendered free of charge to all its citizens although there was partiality in treating foreign patients and establishment of parallel healthcare service for solders, transportation workers and those who mattered in the society especially the government officials.

The distribution of hospital facilities was based on the hospital beds available and the number of patient visits in the polyclinic. (William, C 2005)

The structure of the healthcare systems had the polyclinics for outpatient services, regional or district hospitals and at the top the referral or the republican hospitals which were considered as the controllers of the healthcare systems. Since healthcare systems were available to all individuals, the citizen of the republic of Soviet Union never worried for the health care insurance.

Discouragement of cigarette smoking by printing a warning signs on the cigarette packet and heavy penalties imposed on drinking during restricted times on the day and public alcohol consumption (William, C 2005)

Healthcare systems after the fall of the Soviet Union

After the fall in the soviet union, the member states started to decentralize the healthcare systems as per the administrative structure of the country although there was access to healthcare to all there existed special health services to certain employment groups like police, high level government officials. Drugs are provided free to the inpatients but out patient must purchase them. Some countries experienced major disintegration of this health systems especially Cuba which once compared its health systems with the united states and other developed nations due to fall of this union were they once Enjoyed subsidized economic resources including healthcare facilities. Soviets were deeply involved in each sector of Cuban economy and even government ministries. Establishment of the Russian healthcare Act to enable all the citizens to join health insurance and their contribution to social insurance fund of the Russian federation. It also enabled the personal owning of hospitals and other healthcare facilities which was not in the case of the union soviet (William, C 2005)

Social health insurance policies underwent major changes after the fall of the Soviet Union. They are looked at as means of generating income the income to health sector.

They are ways of promoting individual awareness to the benefits healthcare financed by the public sector. The motivation behind these reforms is the additional revenues obtained.

This policy has received much criticism from the west but it is gaining ground in many countries. There is greater autonomy given to the ministry of health and the other local departments over expenditure allocation. In Turkmenistan, the practicality of social health insurance is alarming due to voluntary insurance (William, C 2005)

How present day Russia promote an active healthy lifestyle

On December 1992, Russia passed a health insurance Act that was to enable all the citizens to join health insurance and their contribution to social insurance fund of the Russian federation.

Incorporation of the world health organization policy helps the Russian government to cope up with universal changes in healthcare systems. The Russian government is trying to further decentralize the management of healthcare in order to reach to the remote areas and to provide flexible implementation of policies. There are efforts in creation of market for healthcare services in order to obtain revenues to improve the healthcare services.

Lastly, Medical enterprises are receiving financial support in order to draw many dependable sources. Establishment of financial schemes where payment is in terms of quality and quantity of the provided services (William, C 2005)

Compare and contrast the health care system of present-day Russia those found in Poland and China

All this countries are faced with a problem of providing sufficient healthcare facilities due to their huge populations. Russia has the highest population of all the former soviet countries, Poland has highest population in Eastern Europe and china has highest population in Asia (Mikko & Ilkka 2001)

Establishment of independent units and promotion of professional bodies has become the goal of the three countries. They all embarked on the reforms of shifting their healthcare systems from centrally controlled to decentralized ones in order to reach the remote areas and the poor. (Mikko & Ilkka 2001)

Poland and china unlike the Russia encourages privatization of medical healthcares systems with much encouragement role of private family doctors.

They all promote establishment of legal Acts to provide legal framework for the healthcare facilities.


William C (2005) Medical Sociology (11th Ed.) Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education INC.

Mikko A. Vienonen, and Ilkka J. Vohlonen, (2001). International Journal of Integrated Care (IJIC). Web. 

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