There is a unique system of sanatoriums and health resorts in the Russian Federation that is not so well known outside the country. These facilities are used for prophylactic treatment of the working population, but they are not part of the health care system. As a result of the historical development, the sanatoriums and health resorts are instead a responsibility of the Russian system of social insurance. Based on three different empirical studies and a review of research in the field, this article describes the development of sanatoriums and health resorts, the different prophylactic treatments they provide, the medical and economic effects of their treatments, and the role of these facilities in the Russian society. The conclusion is that this system of sanatoriums and health resorts seems to be beneficial, both for the people and for the national economy, but there are a number of issues that have to be addressed if the system shall be able to survive in the present economic situation.