Tatiana Burtseva, Vyacheslav G. Chasnyk, Antonina N. Grigoreva & Natalya I. Douglas

Federal laws don’t take into account the poor transportation infrastructure, vast territories and low population density in Yakutia which contributes to the rather poor performance of the health care system in the Arctic regions of Yakutia. Traditional lifestyles formed under the influence of specific climatic and geographic factors has resulted in the development of small settlements situated far away from each other and from medical centers. The implementation of “European” approaches to the delivery of health care services to a sparsely populated and vast territory has given birth to a system where remote, rural communities are serviced by a large number of smaller medical facilities and few hospitals with high level care. With the purpose of evaluating the quality of pediatric medical services, and in order to suggest ways to improve the health care system in the Arctic regions of Yakutia, official statistics as well as the results of an anonymous survey of 1904 mothers and 322 medical professionals were analyzed.

The analysis of current pediatric health care services revealed some trends: a decrease in the number of hospital beds, poor medical equipment maintenance, a shortage of qualified medical personnel, and increasing morbidity. A revision of current concepts of medical care in the rural areas of the Arctic zone is needed. New models of pediatric health care services should be based on the following principles: wider use of mobile diagnostic medical units, wider use of web-based information exchange (tele-consultation, medical reports), special training of medical professionals in rural areas, the introduction of automated systems for preventive examination, and risk-based optimization for improving the emergency medical system.

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