A record drop in population in Tatarstan — RealnoeVremya.com

Photo: Maxim Platonov

As Realnoe Vremya’s analytical staff figured out after studying data from the Russian Statistical Service in the first five months of 2021, from January to May, a record drop in population (4,900), which has even exceeded the figures of the pandemic last year ( 2,099) has been demonstrated in Tatarstan over the past 10 years. During the same period, Russia lacked 360,000 citizens, twice as many as during the same period in 2019. Such explanations for a worse situation in the death rate both in the republic and throughout the country are given in the expert comments for our a journal.

Record population decline in Tatarstan and Russia

A record 10-year population decline was recorded in Tatarstan in January-May 2021, it reached 4,900 people. The republic’s population fell more than twice in the second year of the pandemic compared to last year’s figures for the same period (2,099 people). During the pre-pandemic period, for example, a decrease in the population of the republic in the first five months of 2019 was 961 people.

The number of newborns in the republic from January to May this year decreased by 532 people (to 16,061 people), while the death rate increased by 2,269 people (to 20,961 people).

In the overall birth rate, Tatarstan ranks first in the Volga Federal District, while a five-month decline in 2021 amounted to 3.2% (compared to the analogous period of l ‘last year). In addition, the death rate in Tatarstan from January to May 2021 increased by 12.1% (compared to the period last year). The death rate in the district as a whole increased by 16.3% (from 164,271 to 191,008 people).

For the sake of justice, we should say that such a negative trend is characteristic of all of Russia this year. The natural population decline in five months this year hit a 10-year high in the country – 360,100 people, twice the pre-pandemic level. In January-May 2019, the drop was 180,753 people. This year we have lost more citizens (in June) than in the first year of coronavirus infection (the drop in January-May 2020 totaled 221,304 people).

There was a slight population decline in Moscow Oblast (18,937 people) and Moscow (-16,569 people). In addition, if 52,157 people were born in Moscow in January-May 2021, which is 5,973 more than a year earlier (46,184 people), in Moscow Oblast the number of newborns decreased by 3,188 people, to 28,663 people. 47,600 people died in Moscow Oblast during this period, which is 4,108 more people during the analogous period last year (43,492). 68,726 died in Moscow in January-May 2021 (58,547 in 2020). Rostov Oblast (-15,487 inhabitants) is also in the first region with the largest population decline.

However, the population of some Russian regions increased during the period (January-May). The Republic of Dagestan where the population increased by 9,630 people, the Chechen Republic (+7,840 people), Tyumen Oblast (+3,759 people) and others are among these regions.

Nationally, statistics indicate that the death rate in January-May 2021 decreased by 1.5% (from 562,477 people in 2020 to 554,289 people in 2021) and the death rate increased by 16, 7% to 914,389 people.

Fall of elective health care and “Russian cross”

Speaking of such an increase in the natural decline of the population in the second year of the pandemic, State Duma deputy Ayrat Farrakhov, former health minister of Tatarstan, said that the causes would rather be examined in the end of the year :

“We could receive more serious summaries from experts at the end of 2021. As for the natural decline of the population, Tatarstan in general is repeating the all-Russian, vectorial trend. We are in an area of ​​natural population decline. We see an increase in the death rate in Tatarstan. In addition, it should be noted that at the beginning the death rate in the republic was the lowest in Russia, ”emphasized the parliamentarian.

According to him, Tatarstan is considering a huge amount of elective health care in high-tech medical centers not only in Kazan – the Interregional Clinical and Diagnostic Center, Republic Clinical Hospital – but also in Naberezhnye Chelny, Almetyevsk, which are designed to reduce the death rate, including from cardiovascular disease. However, following a decline in elective health care because all health workers exerted their full efforts to fight COVID-19 and large hospital areas and staff were used for COVID-19 hospitals. 19, it led to such a sad outcome: “When the death rate got a bit higher, due to a very low base in the previous years as well (we managed to achieve that), that dynamic got a little higher.

In the opinion of Ayrat Farrakhov, the uncertainty caused by the new coronavirus infection puts the main pressure on this process:

“We are constantly creating additional spaces. As soon as the process calms down, another wave, an altered variant arrives. We need to restrict elective health care again. And of course, these are serious risks for people who might need them: a shunt, an angiogram, heart surgeries, etc.

In the opinion of Ayrat Farrakhov, the uncertainty caused by the novel coronavirus infection is exerting the main pressure on this process. Photo: Rinat Nazmetdinov

The MP says that the sooner we deal with COVID-19, the sooner we will get back to the numbers we have reached, that is a mortality rate with 13 deaths and less per 1,000 people.

“It’s an almost unattainable indicator for most regions today. We have trained specialists, good equipment, good clinics. The sooner we get vaccinated, the sooner we get immunity, the sooner we can come back this time.

In addition, Ayrat Farrakhov reminded us that Russia is currently experiencing a decade of the so-called “Russian cross” when there is a sudden drop in the birth rate and worsening demographic indicators over a certain period of time (20- 30 years) :

“I think this decade where the birth rate and decline will prevail, the birth rate will end approximately after 2025. That’s why even when we face the new coronavirus infection, it won’t necessarily happen either, I guess the death rate will stabilize and the death rate will return to a previous level,” said Ayrat Farrakhov.

“Every effort has been made in the fight against COVID-19”

Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Institute of Demography, Migration and Regional Development Yury Krupnov agreed with the previous speaker that the demographic situation in Tatarstan is better than in Russia. However, there is a significant increase in excess deaths across the country from last April to today:

“This is determined by an extraordinary situation that comes in many measures: social isolation, confinement, transfer of the health system to a mobilized system, dedication of the entire treatment process and the health system to COVID-19. The extraordinary situation that has been created, mostly manually, and the disproportionate danger of coronavirus, as many experts believe, has resulted in a significant excess death rate. The real causes lie in a colossal depressive state of the population, the absence of serious preventive work on health care, the absence of appropriate elective health care (a decline in the availability and quality of medical services ) due to mobilization.

The expert noted that the situation with COVID-19 overlaps with the health system which was optimized in 2010-2014 when spare capacities disappeared in the country. For example, too many hospitals closed, the number of beds decreased in 2014:

“It was said that they were not full, excessive, but they forgot that in any complex system, while health is one of the most complex, there must always be reserve capacities where mobilization passes in difficult situations.”

To stop the negative trend, the expert thinks “we must stop this whole ‘extraordinary’ situation, which is absolutely made up, and move on to considering COVID-19 as one of many dangerous diseases, one of many. others, but not the main one”. and only.” He adds that the health system must be completely and radically reformed by transferring it to the health of the population.

“The situation is complicated, there is a decline,” recognizes the chairman of the Public Council of the Ministry of Health of Tatarstan Chingiz Makhmutov. “And that was about both COVID-19 and the change in the work of our health system. Some hospitals have started to operate in the “red” zone, which has disrupted the pace and pattern of work. A significant portion of our healthcare facilities and specialists are still battling COVID-19. The primary health care chain had problems last year. Every effort has been made in the fight against COVID-19. »

All these factors, says the expert, have contributed to the growth in the death rate: “If people were 20-30% dependent on health care, they now do 70-80%. This is why any difficulty in the health system makes itself known immediately. The specialist noted that the residents of Tatarstan themselves are afraid to go to the hospital for fear of contracting the coronavirus, especially those categories of citizens who have to regularly visit doctors and undergo examinations due to chronic illnesses:

“Due to the spread of the coronavirus infection, they stayed at home. And when they contracted COVID-19, they found themselves in the red zone of risk.

Last year, screenings were suspended for a while and then resumed. But this break also produced a result. “During certain periods, it is probably undesirable for everyone to show up at polyclinics when there were a large number of COVID-19 infections. The work was done given the situation.

“Now a lot of work is being done to rehabilitate patients who had COVID-19 because there are a lot of complications,” the expert concluded.

As Realnoe Vremya wrote earlier, the share of terminal stages of malignant tumors increased in the first half of 2021 in Tatarstan. Commenting on the situation, the chief guest oncologist of the Ministry of Health of Tatarstan, Eduard Nagumanov, also noted that the suspension of preventive work during the pandemic became the cause.

Statistically, in 2020, the number of polyclinic appointments decreased by 4.7 million, to 25.3 million. There have been approximately 30 million appointments every year for the past five years, excluding 2020. In addition, the number of hospitalized patients has reached the lowest number in five years (from 65,000, i.e. 26.4%). In 2019, 246,000 people were hospitalized, compared to only 181,000 people in 2020.

Yevgeny Khramov


Rose D. Jones