A health crisis has emerged in Russia due to declining health and inadequate health care. The crisis is so severe that the term “disappearing population” has been applied to Russia due to a high death rate, low birth rate, and low life expectancy among its people. These factors continue to worsen due to inefficiency and a lack of resources throughout the health care system. The government has been slow to respond to the current crisis, often ignoring calls to reform the system and sometimes passing inappropriate measures. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and medical professionals report there is an urgent need to restructure the system, and recommend a number of programs to improve health care and reduce mortality. Continued government inaction will have a catastrophic impact on the economy, security, and quality of life in Russia. Access to health care needs to be recognized as a basic human right.

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