200 rubles per head
Here comes the Belgorod-ization of Russia. Belgorod is the Russian region with the highest vaccination rate in the country by far. It “boasts” a 50 percent vax rate that would be quite low in the West but that is a trailblazing “success” in Russia. How did Belgorod achieve this? Easy. By paying out bonuses to doctors for every person they vaccinate (or “vaccinate”).
Now this scheme will be expanded to cover the entire country. The Federal Government has set aside 7.8 billion rubles to be paid out to doctors in vaccination incentives. For every person they vaccinate doctors will receive 200 rubles on top of any existing regional incentives.
Incentive payments to Russian doctors involved in vaccination of the population against coronavirus, excluding the regional coefficient, will amount to 200 rubles for each vaccinated patient, the corresponding decree was signed by the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Mikhail Mishustin.
The payment can be increased in the presence of regional coefficients and allowances to the salary of a health worker.
7.8 billion rubles buys “just” 106 million US dollars, but the straight conversion obscures how much purchasing power that really is in Russia. In the poorer regions, the 200 rubles per person can quickly add up to quite a tidy bonus.
The bonuses mean that doctors now have an incentive to promote the vaccines, but it also means that doctors have an incentive to record vaccinations whether these actually took place or not. They have an incentive to offer vaccinations as well as “vaccinations”.
As ethically questionable it is to bribe doctors to adjust their medical advice, it might actually make it a tiny bit easier for Russians who need the vax certificate but don’t want the jab to get that receipt.
Since the regional governors themselves have an incentive to pump those numbers they have little reason to look too closely.