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Russia recruits African doctors due to war and mobilization - UK intelligence

Russia recruits African doctors due to war and mobilization - UK intelligence Russia recruits unqualified African doctors (Getty Images)
Author: Maria Kholina

Russia is recruiting unqualified doctors from Africa due to a shortage of personnel caused by war and mobilization. The healthcare system in Russian continues to degrade, according to the Ministry of Defense of the United Kingdom.

On April 3, the Chairman of the State Duma of Russia announced a shortage of 30,000 doctors, with the deficit in district hospitals being approximately 50%. This is more than the 26,500 reported in November 2023.

According to British intelligence, the current shortage is explained by some medical workers moving to the private sector, while others have left the country. After the mobilization in September 2022, doctors were explicitly warned not to leave the country. Up to 2% of Russian doctors and medical workers left Russia to avoid conscription.

January 2024 estimates prove that over the past 15 months, the number of doctors has decreased by 7,500, due to long working hours and low wages. According to the Center for European Policy Analysis, to address this problem, Russia is recruiting personnel from African countries with limited qualification verification.

"The major resource and financial commitment of supporting russia’s war in Ukraine is negatively affecting a range of civilian sectors that serve the russian population. The numbers of healthcare professionals in russia will continue to decrease throughout 2024. Externally sourcing medical staff with limited checks on qualifications creates the potential for clinical delivery degradation," the British Ministry of Defense says.

Mobilization in Russia

British intelligence reports that Russia is proposing a bill to raise the age of contract servicemen, including those called up until June 2023, to 65 years old and to 70 years old for officers.

According to the World Data website, the pre-war life expectancy of Russian men in 2021 was 64.2 years. Thus, this measure effectively grants these servicemen lifelong contracts.

The Levada Center shows that support for the war among Russian residents has remained consistently high since February 2022. In January 2024, the majority of respondents (77%) supported the war against Ukraine, while 16% did not support it.