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Transneft East Commissions Modern Health Posts (HP) in Irkutsk Region

Date of publication: 16 July 2020

Ten new health posts equipped with everything necessary have opened in Irkutsk Region. They have been built by Transneft East ahead of schedule in the settlements that suffered from the flood last year.

Each of the ten HP is a modern medical facility with all essential services and amenities.

Just to remind, in June-July 2019 several municipal entities were struggling under unprecedented high water. The disaster destroyed and damaged more than 8,000 homes, as well as more than 200 social and engineering facilities. Tayshetsky, Tulunsky and Nizhneudinsky Districts suffered more than others.

The entire nation has been involved in restoring towns and settlements: national and regional budgets, NGOs, volunteers; so far, the works have not fully been completed. Business stepped in too, to be sure.

Transneft East made the commitment to restore HP in 10 villages and settlements. Or rather to build them anew and fully equip, since the former HP were beyond repair.

In 2019, the company transferred the ownership of four HP prefab modular buildings to hospitals in Burkhun Settlement of Tulunsky District, Ukar and Zentsova Villages of Nizhneudinsky District and Biryusa Settlement near Tayshet.

“Every day I walk to the new HP past the old one where I had worked for 18 years. I must confess: my heart never goes pitapat, I’ve never felt sad about the old building, not once. The hut might have been quite decent, but ill-fitted. There was no bathroom or a room for sanitary treatment. Even the room for medical procedures was arranged there a relatively short time ago. But now! It’s clean, full of light, convenient; everything is thought out to the smallest detail. In a nutshell, a far cry of what we used to have,” says Biryusa feldsher Anna Leonidovna, sharing her impressions. “We worked in the new post all winter, it was warm and cozy. I brought only my scrubs there. Everything else, down to stethoscopes and first-aid kits, could be found in the new HP. A short time ago, they even arranged a playground for the kids. We did not have any territory of ours before – a thoroughfare of sorts.

Incidentally, the HP in Biryusa was commissioned by Vitaly Mutko, the then Vice Premier of Russia. Locals would later say in social media, “Our district has never seen a HP like that. The thorough approach is evident, and one feels the high quality. Thanks a lot to Transneft East for this gift!”

Advantage for Fledgling Specialists

The floor area of each post exceeds 90 m2. The project’s full cost nears RUB 320 million. The structure is adapted to Siberian weather conditions, equipped with fire safety systems, a septic pit and a local diesel power plant to ensure continuous power supply. All buildings are connected to the Internet. This is very handy: should any doubts arise, the feldsher may contact his colleagues from the district hospital. They can even consult experts from regional clinics online – this is the very telemedicine that is rapidly developing today.

Lately, the Tayshetsky District Hospital has taken four more health posts on board: in Tremina Village, Zarechny Settlement, Novotremino and Serebrovo Settlements. The sites were very carefully selected: the company built the HP in those localities which were not flooded last summer, to safeguard against another emergency.

“Tayshetsky District is vast, in terms of both population (ca. 70,000 residents) and area, with dozens of miles between sparse communities. You won’t want to travel to a neighboring township and even less so to the district centre. This is why the HP are indispensable,” says Chief Physician at the Tayshet hospital Maria Lazareva. “For example, the former HP in Tremina was over 50 years old!  In Zarechny, the post did not even have its own premises, and so they leased a makeshift one. However, now they have their own building that fully meets up-to-date requirements, with essential scanners and diagnostic equipment, fridges to store vaccines, household appliances. This is also convenient for the district clinic’s physicians and for the field team touring the settlements to perform preventive screening of the local population. Earlier, we had to carry a bit of everything like cardiographs, treatment chairs. No longer now.”

Modern health posts boasting Internet connections have another edge: their conditions look attractive for rookies. For instance, there has been no feldsher in Serebrovo for several years, and now they are expecting a graduate of the Nizhneudinsk medical school who will work there.

“Transneft East has been backing us with charitable projects for a few years. Thanks to their contribution, people living in far-off places got access to high-quality medical services,” Maria Lazareva underlined.

Both for Suburbs and Remote Settlements

A new HP has also opened in Arshan Settlement of Tulunsky District. Arshan is roughly 100 km away from the district centre. Half of the way is over the dirt road whose quality largely depends on the vagaries of weather. A shuttle bus runs there twice a week. The nearest rural district hospital in Ikey Settlement is 50 km away.

The new HP has all necessary conditions for first aid treatment.

The official population of Arshan is 250 persons. Yet this settlement cannot be described as moribund. According to local residents, retirees willingly move here from Nizhneudinsk and Bratsk. In retirement, people are looking for eco-friendly places with unpolluted air, nearby forests with mushrooms and berries, fishing and gardening sanctuaries.   And wherever the share of senior citizens is high, medical aid is particularly relevant.

The former HP was accommodated in a wooden duplex – one of those built by the local forestry for its employees.  The river Iya burst the banks, washing out the foundation and warping the building. The house was then patched up so that it might survive the coming winter. Now feldsher Valentina Merkulyeva, who has been working here for 43 years (!), is having a full-scale housewarming party with her patients.

Another HP is located in Voznesensky Settlement just 7 km away from Nizhneudinsk, actually its suburb. It takes 15 minutes to get to the district centre and its medical institutions.

Perhaps for this reason, the local health post has not been renovated for years. The building raised in 1956 was rundown by 70%. What’s more, the feldsher had retired. But as the saying goes, this was a blessing in disguise. The settlement suffered from the flood so much that the local authorities were going to resettle its residents. Yet locals wrenched the permission to build new homes on a hill. This raised the issue of medical services.

And then Transneft East lent its helping hand. It took the company just a few months to deliver a new fully equipped HP. The municipality got involved as well, and this month a young feldsher is expected.

Support for Doctors and Teachers

We should remind that the company pursues its social responsibility policy in all areas of its operation. The oil pipeliners support those who teach and cure people in Irkutsk and Amur Regions, as well as in Krasnoyarsk Territory and the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia).

Last year, their donations helped transform a dilapidated school building in Zamzor Settlement and furnish up-to-date classrooms with multimedia equipment which cannot be found even in some urban educational institutions. This summer, the school in Zheleznogorsk-Ilymsky will get a new roof and a thoroughly repaired gym. The outpatient clinic in Olyokminsk, the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), did not only have its consulting rooms renovated; it also switched to the lean production principle. This year, they’ll install contemporary equipment in surgery and trauma units.

The central hospital of Skovorodinsky District in Amur Region has already received new screening equipment. Repairs will soon get started in the rural district hospital of Dzhalinda Settlement.

Direct Quotes

Aleksandr Puzikov, Director General of Transneft East:

Transneft East annually implements a capital-intensive charitable programme in the territories of its operation. From the start of its operations, allocations for these purposes have exceeded RUB 1.5 billion. Nearly half of this amount has been used for charitable projects in Irkutsk Region. Our programme has clear deadlines and preplanned volumes of financing. However, if a certain region of our operation is in need of urgent help we get involved quickly and effectively.

After the flood last July, the decision to support Irkutsk Region was taken in no time. We immediately launched the work of raising social facilities. Today, we are aware that the significance of that charitable project is high as never before.

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