Treatment of patients with rare diseases and cancer suspended in Russia due to Covid-19

Treatment of patients with rare and oncological diseases has been suspended due to Covid-19


In light of the pandemic, hospitals have suspended treatment of patients with illnesses other than coronavirus. Thousands could be affected.

Kommersant carried out and published a report into an appeal made by the Russian Patients’ Organisation to the Ministry of Health. 

Scheduled treatment for those with cancer and other rare diseases has been cancelled. This could affect patients with rheumatism, bowel and joint inflammation, short bowel syndrome, osteogenesis imperfecta, cystic fibrosis, primary immunodeficiency and chronic hepatitis B and C. 

“With illnesses such as these, medical treatment for patients usually takes place in outpatient clinics – either because the drugs needed are purchased through Compulsory Health Insurance and can only be prescribed at the clinic, or because they must be prescribed under supervision” explained Yuri Zhulev, co-chairman of the Russian Patients’ Organisation. He emphasized that the organisation has been receiving many complaints relating to patients being denied medical care. 

Nikita Kovalenko, director of the charitable organisation “Together Against Hepatitis” remarked that they had already received complaints from hepatitis patients, whose usual clinics are now being used to treat coronavirus, in 18 different regions. Many of them, according to Kovalenko, have not received their drugs for over a month and if this continues, they will face real difficulty.


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