"Your tomograph is too old" - PM of Abkhazia criticizes philanthropists
Damaged tomograph in Abkhazia
In Abkhazia, philanthropists felt insulted by the prime minister amid a broken CT scanner in one of the Covid hospitals in Gudauta. It was purchased and presented to Abkhazia about a year ago by two Abkhaz businessmen from the diaspora in Russia.
“This tomograph was already broken when it was brought here, as devices like this have limited resources. The sensor only has 19,000 hours of working, although according to the existing parameters, it is considered to be 100% worn out when the hours reach 8,000. The tube on the tomograph was also worn out”, Prime Minister Alexander Ankvab said at a meeting of the coordination headquarters for protection against coronavirus.
“It is impossible to reanimate the deceased, there is no prospect of restoring the CT scanner. It is necessary for the hospital to purchase a new CT scan at a cost of 60 million rubles [about $ 800 thousand]”, Ankvab said.
The company that sold the tomograph, the patrons who bought it, and Abkhazia’s diaspora in Moscow protested against the statement of the prime minister.
They stated that the tomograph was in fact spoiled by power outages in Abkhazia and lack of proper maintenance.
Foresight medical, which sold the device and then installed it in the Gudauta hospital, said that it is the leader in the Russian market for remanufactured heavy radiological equipment and has faced such accusations for the first time in its years of operation.
The company presented documents that showing many parts were replaced before the sale of the tomograph, including a new tube (one of the main parts).
Foresight medical claims to have restored the device free of charge and developed a ventilation and air conditioning project for the rooms in the Gudauta hospital. It also presented Abkhazia with a new transformer for an uninterruptible power supply of a tomograph worth three million rubles [about $ 40,000].
“This tomograph, if subjected to the operating rules, should have worked without problems until 2023. But its quality work depends on the guaranteed quality power supply and quarterly maintenance”, said Foresight medical.
However, a high-quality power supply in Abkhazia is not possible since for more than a year it has suffered from an acute energy crisis.
It turned out that the tomograph deteriorated on the same day when, due to a power surge in the same Gudauta hospital, the artificial lung ventilation apparatus also went out of order. Then, as a result, two patients connected to it died.
But electricity problems were only one of the issues. After the actual accusation was put forward by the prime minister, the company and the patrons began their own investigation and found out that the Abkhaz Ministry of Health had rejected Foresight medical’s offer to conclude a maintenance contract on preferential terms.
They could not organize their own service in Abkhazia, and the CT scanner was left without professional monitoring.
One of the businessmen who bought the device, Nikolai Achba, says that when a pandemic swept the world at the beginning of 2020, it was a big problem to acquire any equipment in Russia.
“We miraculously managed to find this CT scan through our friends. In terms of its parameters, it was four times more powerful than the apparatus that was used at that moment in the Gudauta hospital. The Abkhaz diaspora in Russia collected money to buy equipment and medicines to help Abkhazia fight the pandemic but by that time everything had already been spent on purchases.
Vazha Chachba and I chipped in and bought this device for 15 million [about $ 205 thousand]”, says Nikolai Achba.
“To say that CT is ‘dead ‘is, to put it mildly, incorrect because words of gratitude should have been spoken instead”, Nikolai Achba told the Abaza TV company. “After all, this device made accurate diagnoses to 4,950 patients, including the Prime Minister, when he contracted the coronavirus.
In addition to Covid-19, some were diagnosed with cancer, tuberculosis and other diseases”.
Achba says that he contacted Foresight medical, an online diagnosis of the tomograph has already been carried out, and the company is ready to fix it. This will cost about five to six million rubles [about $ 80,000].
“This is far from 60 million that need to be pulled out of the state budget for the purchase of a new apparatus. And we will pay for the repair ourselves”, Achba said.
Abkhazian patrons were supported by the board of the Moscow Abkhaz Diaspora. This organization provides great financial assistance to the republic in the fight against the pandemic.
“This government of Abkhazia did not create the necessary conditions for the operation of the CT, in particular, its quarterly maintenance was not carried out. And when the Prime Minister, in a situation with a non-working apparatus, addresses questions “to those who acquired it,” he tries to get rid of responsibility in a manipulative way”, the joint statement ‘We are together’ and the board of the Moscow Abkhaz Diaspora says.
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