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Healthcare Minister Testify Before War Commission
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 11 Nov.'08 / 19:28

Sandro Kvitashvili, the minister for healthcare, told the parliamentary commission studying the August war, that total of 2,232 persons - 1,685 military personnel and 547 civilians - wounded during the war underwent medical treatment in hospitals.

Before the Minister started his testimony, which lasted 30 minutes – the shortest so far – commission members expressed their gratitude towards the work done by the healthcare system and doctors during the war.

“Only three persons died after being brought into hospitals – two were very badly injured and one died of heart attack,” Kvitashvili said. “Even if we look on these figures it is clear that these people [from healthcare system] did a really good job both on the front line and in hospitals.”

“When I was appointed as the Healthcare Minister [in January, 2008], it was a pleasant surprise for me to find out that the ministry had a very good civil defense action plan – this plan does not only cover war situation, but also any type of emergency situations and it is reviewed once in every three months,” Kvitashvili said.

Total of 111 ambulance vehicles were working during the entire period of active combat and post-combat phases.

He said that two field hospitals were located one in the town of Gori and another one in the village of Tkviavi in the north of Gori. In addition two hospitals in Gori, including the military hospital, were working with full capacity. These hospitals, he said, were the first destination where wounded persons were brought from the war theater. Then, he said, wounded persons were being sent mainly to three hospitals two in Tbilisi and one in Kutaisi in western Georgia.

Kvitashvili said that the Ministry had storage of the most basic medical products, but as far as medicines were concerned, he said, the Ministry had requested the drugstore networks “to open their drug storages for the hospitals.”

“So the hospitals had open access to these storages and supply of medicines was unrestricted; of course, afterward, the state has reimbursed all the expenses [of the drugstore networks],” Kvitashvili said.

Seven ambulance vehicles were damaged – one of them blown up and other hit with bullets, he said. “I want to stress that all of them were damaged after the active combat operations are already over,” he added.

“A nurse and a driver [of an ambulance vehicle] were killed and a doctor badly injured in one of the bombardments of the town of Gori,” Kvitashvili said, adding that in a separate incident a doctor was killed at the military hospital in Gori.

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