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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

New Western health care

Two new clinics offer chiropractic, Western dental care for everyone


Foreigners needing dental work or medical care in Moscow used to catch the first flight out of the country. But now a new picture is emerging, with physicians and equipment flying here from abroad.


Expanded health care now includes Western-trained doctors in two fields previously absent in Moscow -- chiropractic and dental services.


A Russian American Chiropractic Center, that has been operating for one month, provides services for both Russians and foreigners while training Russian physicians in modem American and European techniques.


Another medical center, sponsored by the Seventh Day Adventists, is scheduled to open in late April, with facilities for dentistry, rehabilitation and health education.


At City Hospital 15, Dr. Marieke Zegelaar, a Dutch chiropractor trained in England, treats Russians and foreigners along with the polyclinic's Russian staff of four neurologists, three manipulation therapists, and one acupuncturist.


The Russian technique of manipulation therapy differs from chiropractic, which is a slower, more forceful (albeit, more painful) technique, but equally effective, said Zegelaar. She demonstrated a quick, direct jolt pressing two hands together to correct a joint. The more subtle technique is not as limited and can be used to treat elderly patients, she said.


Zegelaar's job also involved sharing knowledge with her Russian counterparts, training them in the most up-to-date methods that they lack without access to literature from abroad. "Its a language barrier", she said. "They need to catch up on points discussed in the West and opinions that have changed".


Equipment will arrive from the United States including stationary chiropractic tables, an X-ray viewing box and charts to better illustrate to patients their condition and subsequent treatment. For now, though, the practice is limited to a small room with one movable bed. This does not hinder treatment, though, said Zegelaar, "Basically, we only need our hands".


Because the American clinic leases space at the hospital on Veshnajakovskaja 23, it has access to the hospital's diag-nostic facilities including X-rays, CAT scans, ultra sound and diagnostic equipment. Surgery and drugs are not used, because medication is scarce in Russia. "It's better to be treated here than getting a dirty needle somewhere else", Zegelaar remarked. Service is offered to local Russian patients free of charge and to Russians outside of the district at about 50 to 100 rubles per session. Foreigners are charged $60 for the initial visit and $30 per session.


In addition to the advent of Western chiropractic services, another new clinic is also opening soon. It will offer improved dental care, which is in great demand as Katya, a woman suffering from an impacted wisdom tooth stated. "I prefer the pain in my mouth to the pain I'll get from the dentist", she said. Often Katya chooses a shot of cognac to treat her discomfort as an alternative to submitting to dental treatment without anesthesia.


"There are no modern techniques, high speed drills or novocaine in Russian dental offices ", said Dr. David Bauers, a Pennsylvania physician organizing the American dental clinic here. The facility will offer complete Western dentistry, as well as training, in an attempt to upgrade health care in Moscow.


An American dentist will train two Russian dentists to perform denture, crown, bridge and porcelain work, as well as root canals and oral surgery. In addition, faculty members from the dentistry division of Lomalenda University in Cali-fornia will arrive to treat patients and conduct continuing education classes for specialized oral medicine, such as periodontics.


The clinic will be stocked with a year's worth of supplies from the United States, including novocaine, needles, syringes, gloves, medals and porcelain. Though service to local residents is free and to other Russian citizens for rubles, clinic officials expect half of the provided care to be paid for in hard currency. "The demand is so high", said Bauer, that there will have to be a limit for free or for rubles services.


The American Rehabilitation Center, in association with the dental clinic, will also provide physical and occupational therapy for physical injuries from sports or neck and back pain, as well as therapy for catastrophic illnesses such as head injuries, strokes, and severe burns.


The focus, initially, will be on out-patient orthopedics, providing treatment, anti-inflammatory medications and casts. Because most foreigners choose to leave the country for major injuries, rehabilitation services will mainly be geared to Russian clients. This includes educational programs for the family to be used at home. "The equipment is simple, like a rope, pulley and can of beans" to develop strength, exercise, and coordination, said Bauer.


A public health education program to be taught in Russian is also being launched by the clink to benefit primarily the Russian community. The five day "Breathe Free" plan to stop smoking will be introduced to adults through translated materials in a classroom setting. Workshops on drug, alcohol and cigarette abuse will be organized for Russian children.


The goal is "a humanitarian effort to provide services, but also to act as a training center for new techniques", said Bauer. and with improved health care facilities, there is no longer any reason to flee across the border.