Russian patients rarely visit a general practitioner and generally do not believe that they should see a medical professional when they feel unwell, according to new findings from the National Health and Wellness Survey (NHWS), conducted by Kantar Health. The NHWS is a large, international self-reported annual patient survey with responses from patients in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. It was recently expanded to Brazil in 2011 and, more relevant to this blog post, Russia in 2012.
The NHWS found that 39% of urban Russians have visited a GP in the past six months, compared with 65% in the 5EU and nearly 50% in the United States. In addition, only 30% of Russians feel that they should consult a medical professional whenever they feel unwell.
“Under the Soviet system, many patients felt that physician training was inadequate, and based on how Russians view their relationships with their physicians, those perceptions have been difficult to change,” says Gina Isherwood, Ph.D., Regional Brand Director with Kantar Health. “While the Russian government is taking steps to put more stringent requirements in place for doctors, it may take awhile longer for patients to see the benefit of having a better relationship with their physicians.”
“In Western countries physicians are an important stakeholder when it comes to managing patient care,” Dr. Isherwood says. “In Russia, however, physicians are not necessarily the people patients talk to most often about their health.”