Inadequate palliative care in Moscow region

72% of patients in the Moscow region did not receive enough palliative care in 2020 – Nyuta Federmesser

11 January 2022

The founder of the care hospice Faith sent a letter to the governor of the Moscow region, containing statistics, outlines of the main issues, and proposals to improve palliative care in the region.

On 10 January Nyuta Federmesser posted a message on her Facebook page and a video addressing the governor of the Moscow region Andrey Vorobev.

Federmesser stated that in the Moscow region there is no consolidated patients’ registry, support hot line or centre that patients or their relatives can contact at any time of day. To receive pain relief they must go to a private clinic or go to Moscow itself.

The founder of the Faith foundation noted that “There are medications in stock, but they don’t reach the patients. Doctors don’t issue them and there is no service to prescribe medication directly to the patient’s home.

According to data cited by Federmesser, in 2021 the use of strong painkillers fell by 45% compared with 2020. The estimated level of pain relief fell from 70% to 20% in that period.

Not a single patient received pain relief as quickly as they should.

Federmesser noted that Moscow is the only region where there is no principal outside specialist to administer palliative care to adults. There is no order regarding the organisation or routing of care in the region.

She also stated that in 2021 the Centre for Palliative Care spent over 15 million roubles on in-patient care for the elderly in the Moscow region, roughly for the same figure for home care.

“All of this money was spent from the budget of the City of Moscow. However, according to budgetary guidelines, the Centre for Palliative Care doesn’t have the right to spent it on caring for the elderly in another region. But we did it, we broke the rules, which I take responsibility for, because to refuse care would be an even greater crime in my view.”

In 2022 the Centre for Palliative Care will no longer care for patients in the Moscow region using funds from the city’s budget.

“Our relations clearly prevented you from realising the scale of the problem in your region and starting to fix it. From now on, each time we need to help the elderly in the Moscow region, the Faith charitable foundation will organise a public collection of funds for those in need. This seems to me an awfully degrading state of affairs for a region such as Moscow to be in. I and my team are ready to provide care together with the Centre for Palliative Care in the Moscow region, but for this your personal approval is required,” said Federmesser in her address to the governor of the Moscow region.


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