A unique Saint-Petersburg hospital #31, where many critically ill children are treated every year, is falling prey to the top Russian officials – federal judges. The hospital is to be transformed from a public clinic to the exclusive medical center serving only the needs of judges of the Supreme and Higher Arbitration Courts of Russia.
Just a few months ago the hospital was renovated and re-equipped.
Hospital #31 is not only famous for its exceptionally qualified team, but also for its strong ties with charitable foundations. Private foundations are financing a major part of the patients’ expenses on high-cost treatment, helping those who would otherwise be unable to afford it. Additionally, the hospital treats adult patients.
The head of the hospital’s Pediatric Oncology and Hematology Department, Margarita Belogurova says:
«Every year about a hundred children are diagnosed with Cancer in Saint-Petersburg, and half of them are treated here. In ten years we decreased the mortality rate in our department from 75% to 25%, We have some absolutely unique departments, highly qualified doctors and a well-developed system of charity support. I think people who decided to tear our hospital apart, imagine it as a simple process: like moving a bed from one corner to another. But it is absolutely not true! If the hospital is to be disbanded, this decision will destroy a unique environment in which the kids are treated, we’ll lose many excellent doctors and valuable ties between our departments will be destroyed. I hope that the federal government will change its decision».
The patients' parents refuse to believe that Russian officials can simply take it all away from young patients on just a foolish whim.
«I can hardly comprehend that such cynicism is at all possible. Federal judges are rich people, well provided with social services in the country. They have everything. Why are they taking away from our children the last thing they have left? Do these judges need our hospital that much? Many parents want to act somehow, but we all know that when we try to protest peacefully to draw attention to this issue, we will just get arrested for the unsanctioned action. We will protest anyway, though, because you can’t take away the only hope for these children. And this hospital is the last hope for many kids, including my son, Kirill. If this hospital is closed, I will have to sell my apartment to pay for my son’s treatment, and I have two other kids. So, where are we supposed to live then? The government provides almost no help, and now it even puts my child's life in danger», - says the outraged Oleg Kostin, an engineer from Saint-Petersburg and a father of a 14-year old Kirill.
We demand to stop the hospital's transfer to the judges. We demand complete adandonment of such plans. Tearing the hospital apart, which means transferring its departments to multiple locations around Saint-Petersburg, is unacceptable, because it will destroy most important things: integrity, the hospital team and fine-tuned cooperation mechanisms established in the facility. These things are necessary to provide quality medical care in a timely fashion.
We are appealing to the humanity of the Head of the Department of Presidential Affairs, Mr. Kozhin and St-Petersburg governor, G. Poltavchenko.