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Head of the Department of Health Explained the Problems of Digitalization

The Regional Health Department said that the contractor is untimely

Artem Osipov, Acting Director of the Regional Health Department, speaking to the deputies of the Legislative Assembly on May 26, told about the implementation of the digital health platform under the state contract worth 176 million rubles. Let’s remind that the contractor is the “Rostelecom” company.

According to the head of the Department of Health, the company is slowly working out the comments, and medical organizations have encountered “objective difficulties” in starting to use the platform. Artem Osipov noted that “the problems with Rostelecom are known” and that the company is working out all the difficulties.

It was planned to put the main systems into operation by the end of 2020, and to fully complete the contract – by mid-February 2022. Earlier, the MIAC, which is responsible for healthcare informatization, reported on the recovery of a contractual penalty from Rostelecom:

“Claims work has been carried out by the MIAC since 2020, and in 2021, on the presentation of already Vladimir city prosecutor’s office, the court appointed a fine of 27 million rubles for the same notorious contract.”

According to the terms of reference, the digital platform includes a doctor’s appointment service. With its help patients can get to the doctor by making an appointment through Gosuslugi. Regional authorities promised at the end of December 2021 that the service would soon be up and running. By the end of May 2022, this did not happen. Artem Osipov called the new deadline for implementation – June 15. By this time, the specialists will add all citizens to the database of medical institutions. As of today, the data on 800 thousand patients has been processed, while there are 1.3 million people living in the region.

As for now, the patients are advised to contact their doctor through the reception desk, and in emergencies use the hotline and medical telegram chats. A day earlier, Artem Osipov announced this information to the members of the regional Public Chamber:

“Artem Osipov informed the participants of the meeting about the process of implementation of a single digital circuit in regional healthcare: by June 15 it is planned to include in a specialized information system data on all the population of the region, assigned to the medical institutions. By August the system should be operating at full capacity”.

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The digital system should also automate the registry and prescription of discount drugs. Regional officials have repeatedly emphasized that this will significantly improve the process of providing patients with medications. The introduction of this functionality was talked about a year ago, then promised its appearance by the fall, but in the end, even by the summer of 2022, the deplane did not happen.

“We have high expectations with the launch of the single digital loop in healthcare. The unified information system will provide many opportunities, including convenient remote doctor’s appointments and more. But most importantly – we count on it very much – it will allow to provide people with necessary (in some cases – vitally necessary) medicines promptly and in full,” – said Regional Parliament deputy Sergei Biryukov in September 2021.

Speaking to the deputies the acting head of the Department of Health said that to date in the region there are about 120 overdue prescriptions.

“The region is in a position where the old system is no longer working, and the new system has not yet started working properly. In automated regular mode, processing of huge amounts of data will be much easier and quicker. Patient registries will become more transparent: even before the procurement of medications, we will know exactly what medications are needed by certain beneficiaries. For now we have to manage information flows literally in manual mode,” as quoted by Artem Osipov at the Regional Health Department’s press service.

In some cases the medicines cannot be obtained because of a serious shortage on the market. Some drugs can be found in retail pharmacies in Moscow, but the regional health authority has no right to buy them, as they have to act in accordance with the 44-FZ on public procurement. Artem Osipov believes that charitable foundations could be of great help in this situation.

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