Almost half Russians are dissatisfied with healthcare and social welfare
Survey: almost half of Russians are dissatisfied with healthcare and social welfare
22 April 2021
The Higher School of Economics (HSE) Centre for Studying Civil Society and the Non-commercial Sector has revealed Russian attitudes to the social sphere.
The centre presented the results of the survey on 22 April. HSE surveyed 2,000 people aged 18 and above on their assessments of healthcare, social welfare, education, and culture.
Healthcare and social welfare were given the worst assessment: 43-45% of respondents labelled the condition of these areas as bad. Only 10-11% gave them a good assessment.
One in three respondents considered the state of education to be bad, almost a half (49%) considered it satisfactory, while 15% thought it was good.
The area with the best evaluation was culture: 46% considered it satisfactory, 23% good, and only 25% considered it bad.
According to the study centre, negative attitudes to the social sphere are gradually abating. In 2020, the number of positive assessments was greater than in the previous year. For example, the number of respondents giving a positive assessment of the social welfare sphere increased by 1.6 times.
The Most Dissatisfied
Researchers found that attitudes depend primarily on the respondents’ political views, age, place of residence, religious beliefs, and material situation.
The most dissatisfied respondents were typically supporters of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF), the elderly, people on modest incomes, and residents of the North Caucasus Federal District.
“There are more optimists among supporters of the United Russia party, the young, and people living in the Urals and the South,” the researchers say.
For example, on average across the country 43% gave a negative assessment of social welfare, but in the North Caucasus this rose to 60%.
33% of students considered education to be good. Of those, 21% are young people aged 18-24, 27% are supporters of United Russia, and 24% are people on high incomes.
People from small towns and those on modest incomes gave negative assessments of culture more than other groups.
“Within society there is an understanding that the social sphere is in a bad way, above all healthcare and social welfare. Despite some positive aspects, there are 2-3 times more negative assessments than there are positive. Only culture received a balance of positive and negative evaluations,” commented the centre’s director, Irina Mersiyanova.
Who Should Help
The study showed that Russians don’t consider the government to be solely responsible for the problems of the social sphere. 80% of respondents stated that questions relating to healthcare, culture, social welfare, and education should be tackled by government institutions alongside social organisations and CSOs. However, 50% preferred the answer “probably should”. The number responding with certainty to this question fell by a factor of 1.3 from 2019. According to Mersiyanova, this was a result of the pandemic.
“During this period, it has been harder for non-commercial organisations to make direct contact with the users of their services and with beneficiaries. Some CSOs transferred their services and programmes online, but not all. Meanwhile, according to our study, two-thirds of Russians believe that it is the government that should offer support to people in self-isolation, while only 23% of respondents thought that CSOs should fulfil this role,” explained Mersiyanova.
She believes that, even during the pandemic, it is necessary to create an open and accessible space for CSOs to communicate with their audience.