The Central District Hospital of Gudermes. Photo: www.grozny-inform.ru

16 May 2020, 08:17

Doctors' protest reveals hidden problems of Chechen medicine

The claims voiced out by doctors of the Gudermes Central District Hospital (CDH) during their protest are addressed to the federal centre, Professor Alexei Malashenko believes. Doctors announced their problems not fearing the measures applied in Chechnya to intimidate critics of the authorities, said Svetlana Gannushkina, a human rights defender.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on May 14, the newspaper "Novaya Gazeta" made public an appeal from the staff of the Gudermes Central District Hospital who complained about the lack of protective gear and the need to buy protective items by themselves. After Magomed Daudov, the speaker of the Chechen parliament, had visited the Central District Hospital, the chief doctor was dismissed. Shakhid Akhmadov, the former Chechen Minister for Public Health, was appointed the new chief doctor of the Gudermes Central District Hospital.

The appeal of the doctors of the Gudermes CDH is addressed to the federal centre – in this way the hospital staff was trying to find help at a higher level, Professor Alexei Malashenko, the head of scientific studies at the "Civilizations Dialogue" Institute, is sure.

He believes that in the near future Kadyrov's reaction will follow, which can be either balanced or thoughtless. Kadyrov, as the expert has suggested, can "act loudly, and start screaming and condemning doctors."

The protest of employees of the CDH in Chechnya is characteristic of the situation with the medics involved in treating coronavirus patients all over the world, said Svetlana Gannushkina, the chair of the "Civil Assistance" Committee.

“Everywhere around the world they write that help is insufficient. This is not only in Russia and Chechnya. For example, many complaints came from American doctors. But the point is the reaction to publications and appeals. US authorities immediately offered help in response to reasonable criticism, while in Russia as a whole and in Chechnya in particular, critics will be subjected to pressure if not repression. The difference is in approaches. Huge money is being invested into Chechnya; and the authorities should have found an opportunity to provide (the medical staff) with everything they need," Ms Gannushkina told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

She has noted the courage of Chechen doctors, given the living conditions that are notable for the republic. "If people, knowing about persecutions by law enforcers, decide to record their appeals, it means that the situation is very difficult, because life is most important for a human," Ms Gannushkina has added.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on May 15, 2020 at 06:01 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Source: CK correspondents

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