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Professional Health Regulation in the Public InterestInternational Perspectives$
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John Martyn Chamberlain, Mike Dent, and Mike Saks

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781447332268

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447332268.001.0001

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Regulation and Russian medicine: whither medical professionalisation?

Regulation and Russian medicine: whither medical professionalisation?

(p.117) Seven Regulation and Russian medicine: whither medical professionalisation?
Professional Health Regulation in the Public Interest

Mike Saks

Policy Press

Unlike many other Western countries, Russia has never had an independent medical profession in classic neo-Weberian terms. Under the 1917 Provisional Government before the Russian Revolution, doctors came close to gaining an autonomous, self-regulating medical profession. However, the emerging profession was rapidly disestablished when the Bolsheviks came to power. This position was eased following the demise of socialism in Eastern Europe and the breakup of the USSR when a certain amount of reprofessionalisation began to take place as incipient independent professional bodies re-emerged in a more market-based economy. Despite this, they have yet to gain state underwriting as medicine has remained more a case of ‘professionalisation from above’ than ‘professionalisation from below’. This state autocracy stands in a long stream of Russian history, going back to the Tsars. It does not imply, however, that doctors have been uninfluential in Russia or that they have lacked regulation – it has simply not taken the same professional form as in countries like the United Kingdom and the United States. As this chapter underlines, the nature and implications of regulatory patterns in Russia remain very significant in terms of both physicians and the public alike.

Keywords:   Russia, medicine, professionalisation, reprofessionalisation, regulation

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