Head of Rusfond urges Ministry of Health to work with NGOs
Now is the time to involve the third sector to the development of the economy”: Lev Ambinder delivered an open letter to the government
The Head of Rusfond has asked Mikhail Mishustin not to overlook NGO advice when creating the Federal register for bone marrow donors.
Lev Ambinder, the President of Rusfond and member of the Council for social development and human rights (HRC) sent an open letter to Mikhail Mishustin, Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, requesting that he considers Rusfond’s experience and expertise when creating a register for bone marrow donors.
“We have developed a network of state, private sector and non-profit organisations to create a highly effective and unique register of bone marrow donors (RDCM) in Russia. The project draws on skills from several sectors and recruits volunteers for bone marrow sampling. It is now time to link the non-profit sector with economic development. Building on the RDCM will make creating a Federal register more time efficient and cheaper,” stated Ambinder.
In the letter Ambinder writes that “The Ministry of Health is seeking to put together a Federal register by only using state institutions and ignoring the non-profit RDCM.” He emphasised that the Ministry of Health is aware that Rusfond is building a register faster and more cheaply. From 2018-2020, Rusfond created a base sample of 37,250 people, but worked with just 14,000 of the 17,000 state medical centres. The cost of including one donor is 9,600 roubles, as opposed to 27,600 roubles for the state register.
“Excluding the National RDCM from the plan to create, in essence, a new sector within the health service does not in our view make economic sense. It is in direct contradiction of the policy adopted by this country’s leaders to make state funding more accessible to NGOs and it certainly does not address the challenges of overcoming the current pandemic”, stated Ambinder.
The foundation’s president also points out that Rusfond has often suggested working jointly with the Ministry for Health, for example in 2017 the foundation proposed creating a network of joint NGO registers and using donations to implement new NGS technology as well as a large-scale recruitment campaign. Ambinder adds that he received no response.
Lev Ambinder admits that including an “NGO to implement a government programme is new and unusual,” but the non-profit sector, according to him, invests tens of billions of roubles every year in implementing innovative new projects in this country. “In 2018, just two NGOs, Rusfond and Podari Zhizn, transferred 4 billion roubles into the health care system”, adds Ambinder.
In November 2019 Lev Ambinder publicly responded to criticism relating to Rusfond’s register for bone marrow donors in part springing from the claim that the data collated would not be accessible to doctors. Ambinder then criticised the ‘conservative and corporate morality’ of state medical institutions after Rusfond offered to finance building new laboratories and received no response.