Olga Godolets: Psychiatric disorders become most common disability among children
The nature of illness has changed in Russia over the past four years. Prior to 2014 the most common causes of disability among children were congenital disorders, but now more children’s disabilities are the result of psychiatric disorders or behavioural problems.
Commenting on the change at a meeting with the Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev, Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets called for a complete overhaul of the system for diagnosing, treating and rehabilitating disabled children. Her remarks have been published on the Russian government website.
At the end of March Medvedev signed a government resolution to update procedures for diagnosing children’s disabilities. On 9 April he announced that under the changes the list of conditions would be increased and the procedures for diagnosing disability simplified. The resolution will also accelerate the process for diagnosing many conditions.
“At the top of the list are chromosomal disorders, including Down’s syndrome, cirrhosis of the liver, blindness, deafness and cerebral palsy. There will be a simpler system for establishing a disability for conditions like scoliosis, oral and maxillofacial developmental disorders, autism and a whole range of diseases which, unfortunately, affect an increasing number of children, including diabetes,” Olga Golodets added.
The resolution has implications for almost everyone with disability. Across the country there are 12 million disabled people in total, including 651,000 children. This resolution is designed to maximise the impact of treatments for people with disabilities.