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Federation Council endorses the Arctic Doctor project
© RIA Novosti. Alexandr Kryazhev

Federation Council endorses the Arctic Doctor project

The Federation Council has endorsed Murmansk Region Governor Marina Kovtun's Arctic Doctor project designed to recruit medical specialists for work in the Arctic.

The governor addressed an extended meeting of the Federation Council's Committee on Social Policy, voicing her region's proposals on how to improve the quality of medical aid in the Arctic regions.

"The case in point is state guarantees; the state should turn to face the North. The support measures we are suggesting will be an important incentive for doctors to come to and take permanent jobs in Russia's Arctic zone. Given the shortage of medical staff in all Arctic regions, we suggest launching the Arctic Doctor project and making the Murmansk Region a pilot in its implementation," she said.

The plan is to stagger the two-million-ruble payments: 500,000 rubles when being hired, 500,000 rubles after the first year of employment, and 1,000,000 rubles after five years in the job. The mandatory condition is that doctors sign contracts for at least five years. It is believed that this timeframe is enough for a young doctor to raise a family, get housing, and to adapt to the local climate.

According to Ms. Kovtun, the Murmansk regional government intends to pay "Arctic doctors" from its own budget before the decision is adopted at a federal level. Between 2018-2019, it hopes to invite 15 doctors as part of the project effort at a cost of 8.5 million rubles. Five years later, it plans to pay about 17 million rubles, with part of the funds likely to come from the federal budget.

Following a discussion the Federation Council's Committee on Social Policy recommended including the proposals related to the Arctic Doctor program and the modernization of the Murmansk Region's oncological service in the Federation Council's draft final resolution.

Ms. Kovtun told TASS that the Arctic Doctor program would be launched in her region on July 1 of this year.