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Russia's Health Minister Urges Doctors to Smile More

Russia's health minister has called on the country's medical personnel to work on their bedside manner — by smiling more at patients.

Speaking on World Smile Day, marked annually on the first Friday of October, Veronika Skvortsova said health workers across the country should hold their own day of smiles under the slogan: "The smile of a medical professional is the formula for success in curing the patient."

"One of the most common patient complaints is of bad attitudes among health workers. This day will remind us of the importance of closely adhering to all the principles of medical ethics and the doctor-patient relationship," Skvortsova, herself a qualified medical doctor, was cited as saying by RIA Novosti on Friday.

Russia finished last out of 51 countries on Bloomberg's list of countries with the most efficient health care last month.

With the lowest life expectancy of all the countries polled, it scored an overall efficiency rating of just 22.5 out of 100.

Only countries with a minimum population of 5 million, a minimum GDP of $5,000 per capita, and a minimum life expectancy of 70 were included in the ranking.

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