Can indigenous women in the Arctic exercise their right to health: “Gaps” in Russian legislation?

Theme 5. Other
Session Name 5.3 Health promotion and population health
Presentation Type Oral
Presenter
Author(s) Elena Bogdanova (Northern Arctic Federal University, Russian Federation), Maxim Sadorin (Northern Arctic Federal University, Russian Federation)
Abstract text

Introduction: Indigenous peoples living in the Arctic zone of Russia formally have equal rights to health and social guarantees. However, there are evident “gaps” in Russian legislation impeding their effective implementation.


Methods: The analysis of federal and regional legislation regulating issues of health was examined. 879 indigenous women (Nenets) in the Arctic zone of Western Siberia were interviewed.


Results: There were revealed two main collision points identified the problem of access to medical aid for nomadic indigenous women living in tundra: a) re-evacuation of women with newborns by sanitary aviation back to their national camps after confinement; b) mandatory medical insurance. Local hospitals are responsible for delivering pregnant women from tundra to medical organizations by helicopters. These expenses are budgeted by regional government. However, nobody is in charge of re-evacuation of women with newborns to their “homes” in tundra. Federal regulations require concluding mandatory contracts on medical insurance which should be initiated by employers or individually. However, official labor status of nomadic indigenous peoples mostly undetermined if they are not registered as reindeer herders, and there are no official women’s professions associated with the traditional way of life. It limits access to medical aid for indigenous population.


Conclusions: It’s important to adopt federal and regional legislation, work out special standards of medical aid for nomadic indigenous peoples and determine their labour status that will allow them to conclude social insurance contracts; develop an organizational mechanism for re-evacuation of indigenous women with newborns.


Support from the RFBR (grant № 18-010-00875\18).

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