The number of people with disabilities in Russia has dropped by almost half a million in the last two years, falling from 12,946 million at the beginning of 2014 to 12,450 million in September last year, and is expected to continue to decline this year, the Kommersant newspaper reported Tuesday, citing the Labor Ministry's press service.
The trend is caused by a change of state policy toward people with disabilities, according to analysts.
A new policy, which came into force early last year, established a disability assessment system based on the percentage of loss of a particular function of the body, Kommersant reported.
"Officials of the Labor Ministry traveled throughout Europe and the United States to observe how the systems worked there. They chose the German model of percentage disability assessment," All-Russia People's Front expert Alexander Lysenko told Kommersant.
After assessment, even virtually immobilized patients have been deprived of disability status, Lysenko said.