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  2. Residents of Udmurtia held a picket against closing of a hospital laboratory in the city

Residents of Udmurtia held a picket against closing of a hospital laboratory in the city

Ivan Zhuravkov
Alexander Zolotarev
Frame from a video of RusNеws YouTube-channel

On March 1, residents of the city of Glazov, Republic of Udmurtia, held solitary pickets near the city hall. They demanded to keep the clinical diagnostic laboratory in the structure of the local hospital, which the regional authorities want to reorganize. The secretary of the trade union of medical workers "Action" Alexander Zolotarev told «7х7» about this.

According to him, residents of Glazov wanted to hold a mass picket of up to 30 people near the city hall on March 3, but officials suggested that they protest on the outskirts, with reference to snow removal, as well as preparations for the Maslenitsa celebration and International Women's Day.

On this day, the City Duma met with the city authorities and representatives of the Republican Ministry of Health to consider the issue of reorganizing the laboratory in the Glazov interdistrict hospital. However, the city administration did not approve the action, and the discussion was postponed to March 1, Alexander Zolotarev said.

As a result, residents came out to protest on March 1. According to the YouTube channel RusNews, two people held the picket, including Zolotarev. He was holding a poster with the inscription in the Udmurt language “Ministry of Health As Viz Syotom Tynyd” (“Ministry of Health, are you out of your mind”). Another participant of the action came out with a poster "Laboratory is our everything."

Activist Aleksandr Zolotarev told «7х7» that he had been picketing outside the mayor's office for several minutes and during this time none of the officials came out to him. According to him, the Ministry of Health plans to transfer the laboratory to a concessionaire from Kirov.

— The laboratory staff told me about it. They were invited to a meeting with the Ministry of Health leadership, the head physician and the concessionaire. In my opinion, both patients and health care workers might suffer from this. The hospital will replace free services with paid ones, patients will undergo tests in other institutions, the amount of provided medical care will decrease, and the hospital will only retain some kind of emergency testing services. At the same time, there will be an issue of retaining the full social package for the institution employees, - said Zolotarev.

On February 27, the head of the “Action” trade union, deputy of the Glazov City Duma, Aleksey Chashchin, also took part in an action against the possible closing of the laboratory.

In January 2021, the Udmurt media reported about the possible closing of the clinical diagnostic laboratory at the Glazov interdistrict hospital. Residents have created a petition for its preservation. It was signed by more than 21 thousand people (about 92 thousand people live in Glazov). The authors of the petition wrote that if the laboratory is closed, then most of the medical tests will be sent to Izhevsk or Kirov - this will affect the accuracy and speed of research, and the laboratory staff will be left unemployed.

The Ministry of Health of Udmurtia denied information about the closing of the laboratory, but added that they are looking for "optimal solutions" in order to increase the accessibility of research and improve the material and technical base of the laboratories.

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