Healthy Life Forum Events as part of Business Programme of the International Arctic Forum 2019

In view of the medical industry’s keen interest in improving the health of the Russian population and the success of the Healthy Life Forum: Towards 80+, discussion around the further development of the global health care system will continue at the International Arctic Forum ‘Arctic: Territory of Dialogue’, which is slated for 9–10 April 2019 in St. Petersburg.

“The Healthy Life Forum: Towards 80+ has proven to be a serious platform for finding mechanisms at the very highest level for achieving the goals of implementing national projects aimed at increasing life expectancy, developing health care, and improving the country’s demographic situation”, Adviser to the President of the Russian Federation Anton Kobyakov said. “Consequently, it was decided that related events should be included in every major forum so that the medical and business communities could develop joint projects. Consolidation of this sort will facilitate a significant breakthrough in the development of health care in Russia. And this is especially important for the regions of the Russian Arctic, where the difficult climatic conditions require that people pay special attention to their own health”.

The first discussion will be devoted to the theme of ‘Healthcare in the Arctic: Two Years’ Progress and New Objectives’. Russia’s Arctic regions play a vital role in achieving the goal of increasing the nation’s life expectancy to 78 years by 2024. The development of the Northern Sea Route presents a new challenge – how can these coastal regions be made more attractive for new workers and their families? Vital to the success of these objectives, just like in other federal subjects, is access to high-quality medical care, preventative health programmes, increasing prosperity, and teamwork. The session participants will discuss how to achieve these objectives in the more difficult conditions of the Arctic and faster than in the regions located below the 60th parallel. 

“The complex demographic and geographic profile of the Arctic gives rise to specific problems related to life expectancy and human well-being. The region includes both sparsely populated areas and large cities, and the aging population, climate change, and cultural diversity can quickly alter the situation”, Director of the Arctic Research Centre at Umeå University Peter Sköld said. “Thanks to improved cooperation in international research, the Arctic has a unique opportunity to improve conditions. Important parts of this process include community health research, digitization of health systems, and improved data infrastructure. The indigenous communities of the North face certain challenges, but at the same time, they have exceptional opportunities to ensure there is a positive transition to health care for indigenous peoples all over the world”.

The second important topic up for discussion will cover recent trends in Arctic medicine as a separate scientific field working with the subtle mechanisms of human adaptation resulting from the body’s exposure to the extremes of the North and preventive measures to ensure the sanitary and epidemiological well-being of the North’s inhabitants. This strategic session was put together with the participation of the Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing and experts in the field of Arctic medicine.

“The resolution of large-scale tasks for the development of the territories of the Arctic zone and the implementation of investment projects, including the development of the oil and gas industry and Northern Sea Route infrastructure, requires the employment of significant human capital, the creation and development of human settlements, and the protection of the environment and safe working conditions”, Head of the Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing and Chief State Sanitary Physician of the Russian Federation Anna Popova said. “At the same time, the integrated development of the Arctic zone includes many difficulties resulting from the impact of the conditions of the North itself, especially in the sanitary-hygienic and epidemiological situation, which makes the preservation of human health the most important condition of the economic growth we seek”.

First Deputy Director for Development of the Roscongress Foundation Anastasia Stolkova mentioned the importance of holding these discussions for the purpose of developing concrete solutions since the development of the region would be impossible without measures to preserve human health in the Arctic’s extreme conditions. “We are working with the leading experts, scientists, and health care professionals from Russia and around the world. I am sure that much remains to be done in order to raise the level and quality of life of Russians living in the Arctic, and state assistance is necessary first and foremost. And the business community, in turn, will do its part to attract the necessary investment funds for the further development of healthcare in our country”, Stolkova said.