Anaesthesiology in Russia

When Dr Joseph Eldor has offered me to write a short essay , giving an impression about anaesthesiology in Russia, I has immediately agreed without any fluctuations. However with the first steps I met with some insurmountable difficulties. I realised that any statistical data on anaesthesiology were practically absent in available literature. Accepted this fact with sadness I has decided to limit this report with the description of anaesthesiology in a large general hospital, assured that these particularities can be extrapolated on anaesthesiological service as a whole.

I live and work in Saint-Petersburg. This is one of largest and very beautiful ( except winter seasons) cities of Russia. The city with the population of six millions is situated on both sides of Neva river which falls into the Baltic Sea. Conditionally city can be divided into four areas. In the centre of each area are located several big ( 1-1.5 thousand beds) general hospitals, that round-the-clock admit patients delivered on emergency evidences.

In 1975 s a Health Care Ministry of the USSR issued a package of documents, which before 1990 defined a structure of anaesthesiological service in Russia. Some of them did not lose its actuality even nowadays. In accordance with these documents:

1 ...ICU on 6-15 beds is organizined in hospitals on 500 beds ( surgical beds must be not less than 70).

3. ... ICU on 20-25 beds must be organized on each 500,000 inhabitants in cities with population more than 0.5 million.

4. ...staff of ICU is planned in accordance with the following schedule: 6 beds- 1 round-the-clock post of physician, 2 nurses and 1 junior nurse.

... the salary of anaesthesiologist is 15% above than the salary of physician or surgeon.

To become an anaesthesiologist one has to graduate a secondary school ( 10 years), medical university( 6 years), residency ( 1 year) and pass 3-4 months specialisation on the chair of anaesthesiology in...