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Putin's Promised Boost to Doctors' Pay Impossible — Reports

Andrei Makhonin / Vedomosti

Russia’s does not have enough money to provide long-promised pay rises for the country's medical workers, the Vedomosti newspaper reported Friday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin promised to index the salaries in in May 2012, the day after being inaugurated as president for his third term. The decree promised to raise doctors’ salaries to 180 percent of the regional average in 2017, with 90 and 80 percent increases for mid-level and entry-level medical workers respectively.

While Russia’s federal budget for 2017-2019 has already been approved, the government has failed to find money for the state health insurance fund, which would have been used to bankroll the increases, Vedomosti reported.

The government was unable to resolve a 71 billion ruble ($1.1 billion) shortfall in the fund for 2017. In order to fulfill Putin’s 2012 decree, an additional 500 billion rubles ($7.9 billion) would be required: 196 billion rubles ($3.1 billion in 2018 and approximately 220 billion ($3.5 billion) in 2019, the newspaper wrote.

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