Marina P. Dudkina
Novosibirsk state technical University
20 Karl Marx Avenue, Novosibirsk 630073, Russia
In this article, regional aspects of Soviet urban healthcare reforms, introduced in the post-war period, are viewed following the analysis of archival data and publicly disclosed statistical sources. The administrative reform, the greatest in fifteen years that followed World War II, was caused by the lack of qualified medical care, which adversely affected the workforce potential. The reform was also driven by the abnormal rise in mortality associated with the famine of 1946–1947 and troubled political circumstances due to the beginning of the Cold War. In Western Siberia, the medical care issue was further complicated by the fact that in 1941–1942 a great number of industrial facilities were translocated to the urban centers of the region with workers and their families settled in the existing insufficient space. City amenities necessary for the normal human life has not been renewed during the war, which caused a great number of problems. The reform was based on the principles of Soviet healthcare, viewed at that time as an auxiliary domain primarily aimed at the replacement of the population. The goal of the reform was to increase the number of health facilities and their bed capacity, as well as to improve the quality of medical care. The main idea was to incorporate out-patient and in-patient facilities, which helped shift the emphasis on the out-patient care and make the medical care more efficient and accessible without having to expand the bed capacity. At the same time, the lack of healthcare personnel also needed to be addressed. The results of this grand-scale reformation of healthcare appear to be mixed. The author overviews the basic framework of the reform and its results, analyzes the dynamics of the increase in number of healthcare facilities, summarizes the regional aspects of the reform, attempts to estimate people’s satisfaction with the healthcare with the help of the criteria used at that time.
Keywords: healthcare, administrative reform, efficacy, quality of medical care, cities of Western Siberia, World Health Organization