Importance The paper considers the determinants of health-protecting behavior. We analyze some formal institutions in the field of health protection. The article offers the comparative characteristics of the target indicators in the basic normative documents regulating the process of health care in the Russian Federation. Objectives We attempted to assess the quality of a number of formal rules involved in the formation of health-protecting behavior in the context of today's Russia. Methods Methodological basis of the research of health protection processes encompasses an institutional analysis focused on identification of formal institutions, which implies a study of qualitative aspects of formation of health-protecting behavior. Results The findings disclose contradictions in target objectives of the main strategic documents in the field of health protection of the Russian Federation population. The paper identified the deficiencies in all three blocks of institutional system of managing health protection. We attempted to analyze two normative legal documents in the field of health protection (The concept of health care system development until 2020 and the State Program "Development of Health Care") in terms of consistency of purposes and resulting indicators, their scientific validity and feasibility of being achieved. We also carried out the correlation analysis between the researched factors and health care indicators. Conclusions and Relevance The paper showed that the basis of health-protecting behavior lies in the knowledge and motivation of the necessity of health care, which formation depends on the State policy in the field of health protection. The article concludes that most of created formal institutions under institutional system of managing health protection are not effective due to fragmented State policy in the field of health protection, unsatisfactory performance of control mechanisms, lack of coordination between different structures of health protection process control, lack of motivation in attaining health protection by all actors. We have identified the factors of formation of health-protecting behavior, which need special attention by the State authorities.
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