Recent news about worsening conditions for people with MS in Moscow to get treatment has alarmed the international community. We are grateful to our friends who were moved to extend their helping hand in the situation and offered their support. However, the Russian MS Society has a huge experience in settling issues, and this one in Moscow proved resolvable, too.

Thus, there was a working meeting held together with the Moscow Health Department and the Moscow MS society to resolve the issue to improve medical care for PwMS. The meeting took place on November 25, 2014, and saw Deputy Minister of Health Tatiana Yakovleva, Moscow Health Department head Aleksei Khripun, member of the Russian Civic Chamber Nikolai Daikhes, members of civic councils and voluntary organisations including the Moscow MS society. They and the staff of Hospital #24 including the former Hospital #11 (now affiliated with Hospital #24) discussed issues resulted from modifications in their organisational structure.

The meeting agreed on setting up a working group on MS at the Health Department; considering a centre for palliative care at Hospital #24; putting aside the closing of the Moscow MS centre which used to work at Hospital #11 and now faces closure because of the affiliation with Hospital #24; and analyzing the matter to resolve the situation to improve MS services.

Another meeting followed on November 28 at Hospital #24 at the same level. The meeting led to a constructive dialogue to maintain services PwMS had at the Moscow MS centre, the former Hospital #11.

The working group on MS is expected to develop solutions to optimize assistance for PwMS with more facilities.

So far, services for patients at Hospital #24 have improved, the hospital can accept 20 PwMS and has better treatment facilities. The neurologic unit of the former Hospital #11 now affiliated with Hospital #24 goes on working, and 50 PwMS can be in the hospital for treatment. Thus, the hospital can treat more in-patients, while reception conditions have become better.

The working group is to constructively decide on advancing aid for MS patients in Moscow. This will help develop the system of healthcare with more facilities, more accessible and specifically friendly for people with MS.

(Compiled by Pavel Zlobin after news on