With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 Siberia’s economic heyday finally ended. Today there is a lack of doctors in the Russian backcountry and a part of the residents does not have regular access to specialized medical treatment. Five medical trains of the Russian federal railways provide medical service to more remote areas.
Equipped among others with a laboratory for blood tests, sonography, EEG, ECG, and x-ray devices the medical train “Saint Lukas” supplies the Siberian Regions of Krasnoyarsk and Khakassia. 17 doctors and their assistants examine about 15 000 patients per year. The medical treatment on the train is free of charge. Medical specialists make diagnoses and prescribe medication. Once a year the medical train passes one of the stations on the defined route.
Patron saint of the medical train is “Saint Lukas”, a priest and physician, who operated during the Second World War in Krasnoyarsk. Therefore the medical train also carries its own cathedral wagon at the end of the train.