Putin targets comprehensive measures to lower mortality rate in Russia

The average life span in Russia has grown by 2.5 years over the past four years, but the mortality rate remains high, which means much attention should be given to healthcare, President Vladimir Putin said in the annual state-of-the-nation address presented at the parliament.

"The average life span in Russia has grown by 2.5 years over the past four years. That is a good indicator, higher than 70 years. But the mortality rate remains very high, especially amongst middle-aged men," Putin said.

"While developing healthcare, we need to give more attention to the protection of one's health," the president said.

This does not mean less attention to the improvement of medical assistance and its accessibility: "Absolutely not," the president said.

"However, efforts in healthcare alone will not be sufficient. The government should launch programs to replace hazardous jobs and to build up traffic safety," he said.

Smoking, alcoholism and drug abuse take hundreds of thousands of lives each year, Putin said.

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