Russia’s VTB Insurance has presented to its international partners a co-financing programme for cancer treatment in Russia.

Addressing the Healthcare Insurance Innovation Summit in Barcelona, Oleg Merkulov, VTB Insurance’s first deputy CEO, described the company’s successful experiences of co-financing cancer treatment policies in conjunction with the government.
VTB Insurance said the current mandatory health insurance system is not sufficient to fully cover all cancer treatment costs, especially where there is a need for expensive, innovative treatments.

At the summit, Dmitry Borisov, vice-president of the Russian Association of Oncologists and executive director of the non-profit partnership ‘Equal Right to Life’, said: "Modern medicine has succeeded in alleviating many negative effects of cancer. However, the funding of cancer treatment remains a major challenge, as there is a lack of funds in the health care system."

Borisov added: "Insufficient government funding has a direct impact on the survival of patients and voluntary health insurance could be a key trigger to co-finance cancer treatment between the government and its people."

In 2013, VTB Insurance launched a cancer insurance programme, Manage Your Health! in the Russian market. The policy guarantees high insurance payments and comprehensive assistance in the provision of treatment.

Since launch to 2016, the policy has been expanded and now provides coverage to both children and adults up to 75 years old.

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In addition, the programme covers costly international treatments up to a cost of RUB 60m ($791, 515) and includes other critical illnesses on the list of insurable illnesses.

Treatment for policy holders is free of charge within three years of diagnosis.

Merkulov said: "We believe that this co-financing programme between VTB Insurance and the Government will help to significantly reduce mortality rates through earlier diagnosis as well as increasing funding to improve the availability of leading cancer treatments."

Established in 2000, VTB Insurance is part of VTB Group, a major international finance group.

VTB Insurance’s assets exceed RUB11bn. It has branches and sales outlets in 95 cities across Russia.