Ombudsman of Georgia sets up multidisciplinary medical council to treat Saakashvili
According to the ombudsman’s office, the following specialists in the field of medicine, distinguished by their qualifications and conscientiousness, have been invited:
- Giorgi Grigolia – anesthesiologist-resuscitator;
- Grigol Khurtsidze – Internal Medicine / Hospital Medicine;
- Giorgi Kacharava – cardiologist;
- Giorgi Papiashvili – cardiologist / arrhythmologist;
- Aida Gozalova – hematologist, clinical oncologist, therapist, specialist in palliative medicine;
- Mamuka Machaidze – infectious disease specialist, therapist;
- Tengo Tsuladze – neurologist;
- Nino Zavrashvili – endocrinologist.
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According to the ombudsman’s office, the goal of the group is to assess the adequacy of the medical care provided to Mikheil Saakashvili at medical facility 18 after the prisoner went on a long hunger strike, as required by the decision of the Strasbourg court of November 10.
“The Public Defender decided to use the powers given to her by law and created a multidisciplinary group of experts to monitor the effectiveness of medical services provided by the state to the prisoner. However, she also emphasizes that the Public Defender cannot and will not replace the responsibility of the state for the care of the prisoner and his health.
The Public Defender has repeatedly used her mandate to invite medical professionals to other prisoners for counseling”, the statement said.
Merab Kavtaradze, Doctor of Medical Sciences, a doctor working in the Public Defender’s Office on the basis of an employment contract, will also be involved in the group’s activities.
The report also says that, if necessary, the composition of the group will be expanded with participation of medical specialists in the relevant field.
“We also call on the Ministry of Justice / Special Penitentiary Service to ensure regular visits of the multifunctional council and not to hinder its effective work, including by means of bureaucratic obstacles. Also, in a short time, a protocol for the activities of the multifunctional council should be developed”, the ombudsman said in a statement.
Former Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili has been on hunger strike for 47 days. Eight days have passed since his transfer from Rustavi prison to a medical facility in Gldani prison. Saakashvili has not taken food supplements for 10 days and, according to his friends and lawyers, also refuses some medical services.
Saakashvili is ready to end his hunger strike if he is transferred to a multidisciplinary civilian clinic. However, doctors say that if he stops starving, he will still need to be taken to the clinic, because after almost two months of fasting, starting to eat again will be a medically complex process and can be life-threatening if the patient does not receive proper medical attention and is not under constant supervision.