Consultation Clinic

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Consultation Clinic


(Russian, konsul’tatsiia), in the USSR, a medical-preventive institution providing medical care for women and children. There are three types of consultation clinic: children’s consultation clinics, providing preventive and medical care for children under three years of age; women’s consultation clinics, which attend to pregnant women and gynecological patients; and combined consultation clinics. Children receive the same care in both children’s and combined clinics. In Russia prior to 1917 there were nine consultation clinics for women and children, providing pregnant women with medical supervision and care. In 1973 there were 21,300.

The first women’s consultation clinic was organized in Moscow in 1925, and by 1973 there were about 10,000 women’s consultation clinics in the USSR, functioning under the auspices of the Ministry of Health of the USSR. The increase in the number of consultation clinics is shown in Table 1.

Table 1. Number of women’s consultation clinics in the USSR
1940 .....................................................4,557
1950 .....................................................6,580
1960 .....................................................7,706
1965 .....................................................8,512
1970 .....................................................8,995

After polyclinics were merged with hospitals in 1949, women’s consultation clinics were combined with maternity homes, becoming the principal element in the system of obstetrical and gynecological facilities offering preventive and medical care during pregnancy and the postpartum period and for gynecological diseases. The women’s consultation clinics are organized on the district principle: each physician cares for 2,500 to 3,000 women in a single district. They have specialized sections for pregnant women (Rh cases, patients with cardiovascular diseases, endocrine disorders) and gynecological patients (infertility, climacteric disorders, disruption of the menstrual cycle).

The main function of women’s consultation clinics is to watch over women’s health from the earliest stages of pregnancy, detect pregnancy pathologies promptly, and provide qualified medical care for the antenatal period of the fetus. All pregnant women are kept under clinical observation; a woman must visit a clinic 13 or 14 times during pregnancy. Home nursing for pregnant women, new mothers, and gynecological patients is an important part of the service provided by the consultation clinic. Physicians detect gynecological diseases not only when women visit the clinic but mainly during annual gynecological checkups. The consultation clinic also engages in extensive sex education for young people and feminine hygiene in general.

Women’s consultation clinics operate instruction centers for mothers in which pregnant women are taught personal hygiene and are acquainted with the physiology of newborn infants and methods of caring for them. Consultation clinics also give legal advice to women.

In other socialist countries women’s consultation clinics are operated on the same principles as those in the USSR. Such clinics do not exist in capitalist countries. Pregnant women are usually cared for by general practitioners.

In 1949–50 children’s consultation clinics in the USSR were combined with children’s polyclinics and hospitals, although in some areas they remained independent institutions. When children reach the age of three years, they are assigned to children’s polyclinics with a detailed report of their health status. Children’s consultation clinics are also organized on the district principle. A pediatrician and visiting nurse attend to all the children in a district (an average of 1,000 children) from birth to the age of 14 years. Children’s consultation clinics organize obligatory home nursing care, essential preventive inoculations, and health education for parents.


Nikonchik, O. K., and Z. I. Skucharevskaia. Organizatsiia akusherskoginekologicheskoi pomoshchi v SSSR. Moscow, 1956.
Zhenskaia konsul’tatsiia, 2nd ed. Edited by L. S. Persianinov. Minsk, 1962.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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