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JSC “Enguri Medical Complex” Might be Closed Down in Zugdidi

December 27, 2007

Is there any kind of controversy between Zaza Gorozia, the regional governor and MP Kobalia?!

In the nearest future JSC “Enguri Medical Complex” might be closed down and IDPs will be exiled from the Hotel “Odishi”. Opposing parties and the society widely discuss this information in Zugdidi; though there is no official document to prove it. The information as if certain Turkish businessman has purchased the hotel and IDPs residing there will be lodged into the JSC “Enguri Medical Complex” is only discussed on public level.

The medical personnel are deeply concerned regarding the spread information on closing down the medical complex which has been functioning for thirty years already. They are afraid that they will soon get unemployed and nearly 80 employees of the hospital are waiting for the final verdict of the government impatiently. Nearly 70 IDPs residing in the hotel of “Odishi” are looking forward to final verdict too.

Dazmir Tsanava, the director of the “Enguri Medical Complex” is not surprised with the spread information because negotiations about presumable purchase of the hospital had started long time ago. Dazmir Tsanava: “They often mentioned with me that only one central hospital was enough in Zugdidi to serve district population. They made various offers to us. Short time ago; Zaza Fifia, the manager of the central hospital visited me and said that the hospital was transferred to the “Block Georgia” and I had to sign some document in order to get registration letter from the Public Registry…however, soon they changed their minds and explained to us that the company “Block Georgia” refused to purchase the complex.”

JSC “Enguri Medical Complex” was med-sanitarian division of the former Enguri Paper Factory. In 1996, both the factory and the medical complex were abolished. On the same year doctors decided to privatize the hospital and maintain it with vouchers and their own expenses. The administration drew up privatization documents and petitioned to the Ministry; however they have not received reply yet.

JSC “Enguri Medical Complex” faced another problem of closure in May of 1998 when thousands of IDPs sheltered into the building of the hospital. Baia Makatsaria, the doctor:

“A wave of IDPs from Abkhazia came to our hospital; they could watch how their houses were being burnt down by separatists in Abkhazian territory…They had no way out; their children were remaining homeless. The building was over-crowded; they lived in the lift too and set fire in the middle of it. They even kept their cattle in the building…”

Despite all those difficulties the medical institution was going on its activities; however the main difficulty for doctors started when Dazmir Tsanava, the director, was invited to the Regional Prosecutor’s
Office for interrogation and demanded explanation of the inaccuracy they had discovered in privatization documents. Dazmir Tsanava, who was doomed to imprisonment, survived punishment only because of lack of evidences against him. Nevertheless nobody has interrogated the officials from the Ministry of Property Management which was in charge of privatization.

MP Grisha Kobalia made comments and statements at the meeting in the hospital several days ago. He condemned the facts of selling state property and said that he would not allow the authority to sell hospital and the hotel “Odishi.” He said that Zaza Gorozia had personal interests in the entities and reminded people of peasants from the village of Anaklia who were seized from their plots recently.

However the MP did not mention his own interests in Anaklia and the hotel “Odishi”. It is not strange for anybody that the owner of the TV-Radio Company “Odishi” keeps technical equipment in several rooms of the hotel. As for the village of Anaklia, Grisha Kobalia intended to purchase plots and build hotels there. Kobalia did not say that he had supported those people who were collecting signatures in the villages of Shamgoni, Darcheli and Akhalkakhati in order to hold protest demonstration against the regional governor.

Zaza Gorozia denies the spread information and excludes his participation in the purchase. “If somebody is interested in my discrediting I want to assure him that I have not heard about the purchase of the hotel or the hospital. It is not in my competence and the Ministries of Economy and healthcare are working on the issue in coordination. Thus, I am not interested in it and neither have any power to make any kind decision. However, if they wish to meet me, I am ready to give recommendations to them.”  

Several days ago Dazmir Tsanava petitioned to Davit Tkeshelashvili, the Minister of Labor, Healthcare and Social Welfare, where he underlined the importance of the medical institution in the region. The Medical Complex is the only state hospital which serves the labor class of Zugdidi and the residents of the villages in Gali District. Dazmir Tsanava: “We provide more than 50 % of population of the district with medical assistance. Our patients belong to the category of people who have not received medical insurance or cannot afford treatment at private medical centers. Our doctors are well experienced specialists and unique operations are made at minimal prices. We offer you to transform our complex into municipal hospital after what we will start self-financing and will not be burden for the state budget. The hospital will receive humanitarian aid. Similar system works in the city of Columbus in the State of Georgia, the USA and it is very successful there. I think similar model will be acceptable for our healthcare system too.”

IDPs residing in the hotel “Odishi” cannot be lodged into the hospital. Nearly 70 families of IDPs categorically refuse to leave the hotel.

Sveta Zhvania, the IDP: “We have been living here for nine years already. We emptied the building from rubbish for many years…We will not let anybody to exile us from here now. We will not move to the suburb. If the owner pays corresponding compensation o us we will decide where to go.”

The IDPs rely on Mikheil Saakashvili’s statement on registering the temporary accommodation on internally displaced people. The IDPs from Abkhazia have requested the documents from the Public Registry where the hotel “Odishi” is still registered as a state property.

Nana Pazhava, Zugdidi