#1 - JRL 7243
Russians' health undermined by lack of funding, lifestyle choices
Moscow, 27 June: Some 60 per cent of children born in Russia have congenital defects, Russian Health Minister Yuriy Shevchenko said at the first congress of the National Health League, which opened in Moscow today.
The forum has over 4,000 participants, including well-known politicians and scientists.
Speaking about the state of Russians' health, Shevchenko recalled that 30m consume alcohol on a regular basis, 2m take narcotics and over 45 per cent of all Russians are smokers.
Only 12 per cent of Russians exercise regularly and the amount of state funding for public healthcare reaches only some 4 per cent of GDP, while developed countries spend an average of 7 per cent of GDP.