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Russia: Physicians Required to Make House Calls

(Aug. 20, 2012) On June 27, 2012, the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation registered new Rules of Initial Medical Assistance issued by the Health Care and Social Protection Ministry. (Text [in Russian], CONSULTANT (last visited Aug. 20, 2012).) While regulating the system of primary health care provision, the Rules establish that family physicians and primary care providers assigned to a particular territory are required to visit elderly patients at their homes regularly, without the patient making an appointment, if there is a risk of an epidemic or there is a suspicion that such a patient could contract an infectious disease. Additionally, senior citizens who live alone and have chronic diseases must be visited by physicians periodically. (Irina Lozovskaia, Statsionar na Domu [Hospital at Home], Rossiiskaia Gazeta (July 13, 2012).)

The Rules allow substitution of a visit by a nurse practitioner for a doctor's visit. According to the Rules, per request of a patient and if his/her health situation allows, basic prophylactic and diagnostic procedures and laboratory tests can be conducted at home, without hospitalization. A nurse on duty will supervise treatment on weekends and holidays. The Rules allow moving a patient to the hospital, regardless of his/her consent, if that patient's condition worsens. These services will be covered by the government-provided national health insurance. (Id.)