A lot of our fellow-countrymen are now concerned with the problem of medicine in our region. The thing is that the number of complex medical services that hospitals on the liberated Donbas territory provide is limited.
About medicine in “DPR” Part 1
The situation in pharmaseutical market must be discussed separately. Every day, Donetsk occupational “authorities” report that “the prices are getting lower” and “all the necessary medicines” are available in local chemists’. However, the real situation is not that optimistic. In Donetsk, medicines are nearly two times more expensive than in neighbouring Mariupol. For example, “Spasmalgon” which is very popular, costs about 72.5 hryvnyas in “DPR” and 32.3 hryvnyas in Ukrainian chemists’. “Amizon” sets a sad record in prices, it costs 214 hryvnyas in “DPR” and 44.9 hryvnyas in Mariupol. “No-Spa” costs 103 hryvnyas in Donetsk and 48.2 hryvnyas in Mariupol.
A lot of medicines which you are prescribed in Donetsk hospitals are really difficult to find in “republican” chemists’. “DPR” militants make the rules as for bringing medicines from the territory of Ukraine into “DPR” strict, they check the vehicles which enter the occupied territory saying that they want to prevent smuggling. The explanation is quite simple. After the “republic” was proclaimed, Ukrainian producers got ousted from its market by Russian pharmaceutical companies which are directly linked to militants’ leaders. Today, the majority of medicines in the local chemists’ are of Russian origin and the prices are artificially raised as there is no competition in the market. All Ukrainian producers left it thus, the locals have no alternative to expensive and inefficient medicines from Russia. Sometimes, Ukrainian medicines get to the “DPR” market but only if they are re-exported from the Russian Federation so the price becomes even higher. Pharmaceutical products of high quality are not for ordinary people and they are sold only in special chemists’ and clinics for “authorities” and rich “aristocrats” of the “republic”.
There is a lot of bribery in “DPR” medicine. For example, as it was reported by Oleksiy Matsuka, a journalist from Donetsk, you can get a certificate proving that you are disabled for six thousand hryvnyas (the exchange rate in this case will be 1 hryvnya for 3 Russian rubles). You have to pay for all the things you expect to get in hospital, from staying in a ward to food. However, propaganda mass media keep telling people that “DPR” medicine is free and it was created from scratch by Aleksandr Zakharchenko, “the leader of the republic” (only mass media which were approved of by “DPR” and propagate its ideas are allowed in the “republic”).
Pavlo Kanygin, Russian journalist who used to work as “The Novaya Gazeta” special correspondent in occupied Donetsk (he was later captured by militants and deported to Russia) wrote about “DPR” medicine:
“At the beginning of the summer, Aleksandr Zakharchenko signed a decree banning international NGOs. He explained that “these organizations are often used as a cover for enemy’s intelligence and its destructive activity, and put the safety of the state at risk”. The list of banned organizations included “The International Salvation Committee”, “Médicines Sans Frontièrs”, “The Red Cross” and others. “DPR” representatives accused “MSF” of spying and smuggling psychotropic drugs. Only “The Red Cross" managed to get “DPR” accreditation later.
Militants of self-proclaimed “Donetsk people’s republic” occupied Psychoneurological Hospital #1 which is situated nearby. Last winter, when we took food and medicines to basements in Petrivka (people hid there from constant shellings) there were people suffering from typhus there. I cannot even imagine what the situation is like in Petrivka and other Donetsk outskirts now. No one can say this. Last autumn “DPR” authorities volunteers were prohibited from taking medicines to people and NGOs became equal to spies”.
These are the realia of medicine in the unrecognized self-proclaimed “republic”.
At the same time, “DPR” leaders claim that in the near future Donetsk is about to become “the world transplantology leader”. They say that the future legislation of the “republic” which will be “liberal” to transplantology will bring billions of dollars to the budget. It should be noted that Victor Denisov who is one of the authors of “DPR” law which will legalize organs trade in the “republic” is the head of a local transplantology centre. In 2007 he was involved in the case of “black transplantologict” Mikhael Zis. According to the materials of the case, this Israeli surgeon conducted illegal transplantology operations together with the heads of Donetsk transplantology centre. Thus, it is possible, of course, that business connected with organ trade will be flourishing in “DPR”, especially if we take into consideration the fact that there is so much “biological material” in the “republic”: political prisoners, captive Ukrainian servicemen and just some unnecessary people who are tortured in notorious “basements” of “DPR ministry of state security”.
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