900 thousand people are registered as disabled in Russia each year. This was revealed today by Russian Minister for Labour and Social Development Alexander Pochinok while speaking at a plenary session of the State Duma. According to Pochinok, the total number of disabled people in Russia now stands at 10.8 million. The Labour Ministry predicts that this figure may rise as high as 15 million in the next few years.
Pochinok said that the main task for the future, which the Russian government is attempting to resolve by developing and implementing a programme for the social rehabilitation of disabled people, is not to provide the disabled with additional benefits, but to establish the conditions in which they can play an active role in society. The minister announced that there are currently 250 companies working in the rehabilitation industry in Russia. Over the last four years financial support for these companies has grown tenfold. Complex prosthetics departments have been set up at 140 companies. According to Pochinok, the programme of social support for disabled people receives 100% of the financing it requires. Over the last three years around 1 billion roubles (USD 31.4 million) has been spent on the programme.