Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin visited the Skolkovo innovation centre on Monday to bury a time capsule and lay the cornerstone of the first building in an international medical cluster.

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin pictured during a visit to the Skolkovo innovation centre. Photo:

The medical cluster is planned to be a state-of-the art centre that will involve the leading medical facilities of countries belonging to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, an international organisation headquartered in Paris and founded to boost international trade and economic progress. Work on the cluster began in June with the start of construction of its first building, a diagnosis centre that is planned to be completed by the end of 2017.

“We are beginning to implement an extremely important project in the development of the Russian health system,” Sobyanin said.

“An international medical cluster will be built at Skolkovo whose clinics will be equipped with the most modern technology and where Russian and foreign doctors will work together side by side,” he said.

“Thanks to the creation of the medical cluster, Russians will have more opportunities to receive highly qualified medical treatment, and Russian doctors will have access to the world’s best treatment methods,” the mayor added.

The international medical cluster was founded in June 2015 and is due to include a cutting-edge clinic, a training centre for doctors to improve their qualifications and learn from international experts, and scientific organisations working on the development and production of drugs and medical technology and equipment. Usually stringent Russian legal requirements for the certification of methods and staff will be relaxed at the cluster in order to enable the use of the latest breakthrough treatments.

During the next 10-15 years, up to 15 clinics are planned to be built on a 57-hectare site. The clinics will specialise in areas including cancer, cardiology, orthopedics, trauma care and neurology.

The medical cluster is already seeing interest from investors, according to Marat Khusnullin, deputy mayor for city planning policy and construction.

The deputy mayor said that the best medical specialists from countries including Germany and Israel – two countries currently popular with Russians seeking medical treatment abroad – would come to work at the medical cluster.

“They will build their own clinics here, and no one will have to go anywhere for treatment: everything will be available in one place, and it will be the best medical service. This is truly a breakthrough project,” Khusnullin was cited as saying on the city government’s website.