It is hard to tell what kind of scale of healthcare expenditures Putin talks about. If we take a combined set of all resources (including “mandatory” and “voluntary”), then it was already 5.6% of the GDP in 2015 according to data from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
It’s likely that he talked about the expenditures by the government. Government healthcare expenditures in Russia have been around 3.2% - 3.4% of the GDP as it is noted in the recently released report “Healthcare: Much Needed Answers to the Modern Challenges” issued by a Russian Center for Strategic Research (CSR).
The authors of the report clarify, “Healthcare is traditionally a number one priority for Russians, getting ahead of security, a stable income, the environment and more. Satisfaction by accessible healthcare services is, on the contrary, is the lowest on the scale of satisfactions of daily living.”
According to the OECD, in 2000, those expenditures in Russia were 3% of the GDP. The peak was chronicled in 2009 at 3.5%. By 2011, the rate went back down to 3% after which it started to slowly grow.
To compare these rates with their counterparts from the 35 countries from the OECD report, we took the average measure of 3.3% from the CSR report:
To bring Russia healthcare expenditures up to the level of “more than 4% of the GDP” would mean leveling Russia up with South Korea, Lithuania and Poland of 2016. To make it 5% would mean to level Russia up with Greece, Chile, Estonia and Hungary.
The CSR report tells us that the average level of healthcare expenditures in the OECD countries is 6.5% of the GDP, and 7.2% of the GDP in the European Union.