Leader of breakaway South Ossetia, Leonid Tibilov, has again spoken out against breakaway region’s residents traveling to Georgia for receiving medical treatment.
Speaking at a meeting with members of his government, Tibilov said on March 2 that “in the overwhelming majority of cases there is no need whatsoever for patients to go to the neighboring country,” Tskhinvali-based RES news agency reported.
“We have to develop our own medical centers and attract specialists. We are already doing it actively – we are launching construction of a modern medical center with relevant equipment,” Tibilov said.
This is not the first time when the breakaway region’s leader raises the issue. In July, 2013 he called on his government to address, as he put it, increasing number of cases of South Ossetian patients going to hospitals in Georgia and recalled a government decree allowing this practice only in “exceptional cases” when a condition of a patient does not allow a lengthier travel to Russia’s North Ossetia.
In 2013 interview with the local newspaper, breakaway region’s healthcare minister, Grigory Kulidzhanov, said that in most of the cases patients “are ignoring” this decree of the government.
“Often people appeal [to the healthcare ministry] insisting on sending them to hospitals in Georgia, ignoring offered alternative to receive medical treatment on the territory of Russia,” Kulidzhanov told Respublika (Republic) newspaper in April, 2013. “Of course we can help a person when it is a life-and-death issue and we are doing it, turning a blind eye on political aspects, but in most of the cases requests for sending them to Georgia have no clear justification, meaning that similar treatment can also be provided on the territory of Russia, including in North Ossetia.”