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Russia

Moscow Tries to Woo Doctors With Free Rent

KOMMSERSANT (Russia)



Worldcrunch

MOSCOW - The doctor is in the house! At least, that is what Moscow’s city government is hoping.

Under a new program called “The doctor is next door,” the city will be renting space to private medical practices on the first floor of residential buildings for 1 ruble ($0.03) per square meter per year.

In return, the general practitioners and pediatricians will be expected to provide services for free, although other doctors will be able to charge, Kommersant reports. The general practitioners and pediatricians will be paid a salary from Russia’s compulsory medical insurance fund.

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Photo Alex E. Proimos

The city is taking these steps in an effort to reduce the load on public clinics and to increase access to family doctors, Kommersant reports. It’s not the first time the city has used very low rents to encourage private investment in projects the city wanted done - the city has also offered very low rents for historical buildings as long as they are properly restored.

All dilapidated buildings in need of repairs can also be rented for a symbolic sum as long as the renters open a private preschool after renovation.

Experts had varying opinions about the effectiveness of the program, which was announced this week. Some heralded it as a good way to help doctors fight against high rents in Moscow while others doubted that there were enough trained family doctors to go around. Others worried that the free consultations would be used to pressure patients into unnecessary, and costly, medical procedures, Kommersant reports.

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"Collateral Benefit": Could Putin's Launching A Failed War Make The World Better?

Consider the inverse of "collateral damage." Envision Russia's defeat and the triumph of a democratic coalition offers reflection on the most weighty sense of costs and benefits.

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Demonstrators holding a doll with a picture of Russian President Putin

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-Analysis-

PARIS — The concept of collateral damage has developed in the course of so-called "asymmetrical” wars, fought between opponents considered unequal.

The U.S. drone which targeted rebel fighters in Afghanistan, and annihilated an entire family gathered for a wedding, appears to be the perfect example of collateral damage: a doubtful military gain, and a certain political cost. One might also consider the American bombing of Normandy towns around June 6, 1944 as collateral damage.

But is it possible to reverse the expression, and speak of "collateral benefits"? When applied to an armed conflict, the expression may seem shocking.

No one benefits from a war, which leaves in its trace a trail of dead, wounded and displaced people, destroyed cities or children brutally torn from their parents.

And yet the notion of "collateral benefits" is particularly applicable to the war that has been raging in Ukraine for almost a year.

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