Medical workers from four hospitals in Kurgan have written an appeal to Russian President Vladimir Putin, asking him to send military doctors to the region to help treat COVID-19 patients, reports the BBC Russian Service, citing a copy of the letter.
The website Ura.ru also published a copy of the letter to Putin, which was signed by “more than 100 residents of the region,” as well as the local medical workers.
The letter’s authors accuse the leadership of the Kurgan Region of “hushing up the problem and the significant underreporting of statics,” the BBC Russian Service reports.
“We’re asking [you] not to assess the situation based on the words of our officials, but to send a commission to the region so its members can see first-hand what kind of hell is going on with providing the population medical care during the pandemic,” the letter says.
The medical workers also refer to “critical shortages” of hospital beds and medical personnel, as well as “overloaded” ambulance and emergency services. “Patients are waiting days for the arrival of [their] teams, and a week or more [to see] doctors at a clinic,” the letter says.
On condition of anonymity, an employee from one of the Kurgan hospitals told the BBC Russian Service that “many experienced paramedic dispatchers” have fallen ill with COVID-19. According to the source, they’ve been replaced by “fourth-year students” from Kurgan Medical College.
“The Kurgan doctors believe that only sending in military doctors can turn the tide, as well as the urgent construction of a new infectious disease hospital modeled on those that have already been built in 16 of Russia’s other regions.”
The letter to Putin was signed by employees from the four Kurgan hospitals that are working directly with coronavirus patients, the BBC Russian Service explains. The Kurgan governor’s office didn’t respond to the BBC’s request for comment.