MOSCOW, October 11 (RIA Novosti) - According to a report, average life expectancy in Russia is now 12 years less than in the United States and other developed countries, and the rate of infant mortality is 1.5-2 times as high.
The average life expectancy for women in Russia is 72.3 years, whereas the figure for men - 58.9 years - is significantly lower.
The report, which was drafted by a working group of the State Council and will be presented Tuesday, puts the situation down to factors such as poor funding (state and municipal health care spending dropped from 3.1% to 2.8% of GDP in 2004 [$570 billion] - half the amount spent on health care in developed countries) and inefficient use of the available material, financial and human resources.
High-tech medical care remains unaffordable for the vast majority of Russia's population, not least owing to the lack of nationwide specialized medical services for prevalent diseases that cause 85% of deaths in the country every year.
The poor quality of public health services is also attributable to low wages in the sector, with 38% of Russia's medical personnel paid less than the local subsistence level.