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Switzerland and Russia share their experiences



The 5th Swiss-Russian Medical Forum will be held in Moscow, at the Sechenov University on September 21-22, 2018.

Beatrice Lombard-Martin, the founder and the head of the Swiss-Russian Medical Forum, gave an interview to Swiss Health Magazine, in which she described the goals and objectives of this medical event:

SH: – How did the idea leap into your mind to create the Swiss-Russian Medical Forum?

B.L-M.: – This was the idea of the former Swiss Ambassador to Russia Walter Giger. He shared his observations with me in 2010, namely: an active interaction in the field of medicine between the two countries had been taking place. It involved universities (professors, students), clinics and doctors, as well as representatives of the medical industry; but this activity was carried out in such a way that “the right hand didn’t not know what the left hand was doing”. So, he invited me to think about a new program to purposefully develop cooperation between Russia and Switzerland in the field of health. The first Swiss-Russian Medical Forum was held in 2011 and it was of great success: the forum has become a platform where professors, doctors, as well as young people, students can meet and interact, create programs and conduct joint researches. This is a huge field for activities.

We began to hold one big forum per year. Firstly, there was the idea of alternating: one year – in Switzerland, the next one – in Russia. But Russian doctors do not have opportunities to come to Switzerland on a regular basis, so we decided to hold the forum only in Russia. In 2014, we suspended the event because of sanctions. And we renew it this year, in September. But all this time, collaboration, having begun in the framework of this forum, was remained open: universities and clinics, professors and doctors had been keeping in touch.

The Swiss colleagues can share the latest achievements and technologies, as well as experience in setting up the clinic. But what are the Swiss interested in Russia?

– The Swiss academic community, like students, is interested a lot in Russian clinical investigations, as well as know-how in education. There is a great potential for exchange, and both sides can make good profit. Speaking about the industry, there are very good practices in pharmaceuticals in Russia, so that joint start-ups and other business projects are possible. Some sessions were devoted to health insurance at one of the forums, and it was interesting and useful for the Swiss – some ideas should be borrowed from Russia. They include quality control of treatment, personalized medicine, ways to treat cancer and diabetes – there are so many important areas for the exchange of experience and knowledge! And this should be done by people who work in this sphere.

The representatives of the industrial sector also have been participating in the forum. Swiss manufacturers are interested in cooperation with Russian universities. Deep researches are carried out in Russia; it can be useful for Russian and Swiss enterprises. And we should activate such cooperation.

Can you give an example of successful cooperation between the Russian and Swiss colleagues?

– A good collaboration was developed between the Sechenov University and the University of Geneva; there was an exchange of doctors and students between these institutions. The exchange of doctors and graduate students with the university clinic of Aarau also took place. The professors of various universities are in good interaction and keep direct contacts with each other. On the Russian side, we have had long-standing contacts with the university hospital in Novosibirsk; it has been involved since the very beginning of our activity. We even held an event in Novosibirsk. We have been actively cooperating with St. Petersburg and the Association of Cancer Diseases in Russia; we hold a round table in the framework of the Russian Cancer Congress “White Nights” every year. We are confident that both the Russian and the Swiss sides can enrich each other and successfully cooperate.



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