The Social and Ethical Implications of Universal Access to Health Care in Russia

The availability of free health care to all citizens has been regarded as a great achievement of the Soviet society. In recent decades, however, decreased funding of the state-run health care system has led to a deterioration in the quality and quantity of available medical equipment and services. More than 50 percent of the Russian population is dissatisfied with the health care system and the attitudes and moral standards of their health care providers. This article discusses the degree, nature, and some of the causes of the public's dissatisfaction and concludes with a preliminary look toward the future of the Russian health care system.