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Doctors silenced. Who is next?

The Ministry of Health of Kyrgyzstan instead of fighting with the problems of the sector has decided to fight ... with doctors. Obviously, this is the simplest that officials can do.

The plane crash tragedy once again exposed the dire state of the national morgue. Consultant of the press center of the Health Ministry Elena Bayalinova asked to help its employees with gloves, gowns and galoshes.

Parliament deputies were the first who reacted. No, they have not bought the required things, not cared of increasing the budget for medical forensic examination, not thought how to get young specialists interested in work in the field of medicine, which is not for everyone...

People's representatives, who are obliged to respond to the requests of their electorate, considered these requests as inappropriate and harmful to the country's image. And so the doctors were told to keep silent about the problems.

The State Secretary of the Ministry of Health Zhazgul Kiyizbaeva dutifully responded and by her instruction dated January 17 recommended the doctors to refrain from discussions and comments on the health care system. She also banned comments to journalists without the consent of the Health Ministry's press service.

Do not they know the law or exceed the powers?

Chairman of the Public Council under the Ministry of Health Aybar Sultangaziev analyzed the document. According to him, this order violates four articles of the Constitution: 20, 31, 33 and 47. 

"In particular, the Constitution prohibits the adoption of subordinate regulatory acts restricting human rights and freedoms; it guarantees the right to receive information on the activities of the state agencies. Article 47 has paragraph 4 which says: the concealment by officials of facts and circumstances that pose a threat to human life carries a statutory responsibility. In fact, this instruction may create a threat to human life and health," he stressed.

"In addition, there is a violation of the three laws: On public health (which guarantees citizens the right to access to information), On protection of the health of citizens and On access to information. That is the order is the violation of our laws," Aybar Sultangaziev noted. 

"According to the law, the duty of the Ministry of Health and medical institutions is to provide the citizens with objective and reliable information on disease prevention, health protection. There is the right of citizens to obtain information on the sanitary and epidemiological situation, the state of the environment, quality and safety of products. There is the right of public control over the implementation of the work by medical institutions. The activities of state bodies should be open, public and transparent. I have not found a single item that would have justified this instruction," the chairman of the Public Council said. 

By the way, earlier the doctors of Bishkek ambulance station were banned to give the media a report on criminal incidents. It, allegedly, interferes with police work.

"We see an attempt to reduce the transparency of the health care system. It is clear that there are many problems. But instead of trying to solve them, they try to deprive of access to information, to pretend that everything is fine. This is related neither to the morgue, nor to the catastrophe. It may be just an excuse," Aybar Sultangaziev believes.

"If the leaders of the Ministry of Health and the City Department do not know the law, we probably have to conduct training for them. And if they know, it is excess of powers. And in this case should be handled by the government," he said. 

Do not beg!

... The doctors had no time to chew over the first order, as another constraint became known.

In Bishkek, the head of the Health Department banned the doctors to directly complain to the authorities - the President, the Parliament, the government and the mayor's office.

Now the physicians are banned to directly turn to the authorities with requests for additional funds, which are not included in the budget. Unbelievable? Can not it be in a democratic state? From now on, violators will face disciplinary action up to dismissal. 

Gold subordinates! No requests, no complaints, no thoughts, no comments to journalists ... Medical robots. Come silently and do their work ... They could even abandon a salary in favor of the state.

By the way, we also need to silent the patients in order they not to complain of bribes, that there are no beds in wards left and they are placed in the corridors. Not to complain that they bring linens for hospitalization from home, that they buy drugs by themselves ... Kyrgyzstanis even collect money by the entire world for expensive medical equipment. 

Has anyone of the deputies or heads of Ministry of Health donated their money for the linear accelerator? One name appeared in the social networks. Smiling Omurbek Babanov allegedly allocated 10 million soms. Alas, the information turned out to be a furphy.

How many doctors have been trained abroad at expense of the state? Doctors mostly travel at their own expense. Sometimes, the same volunteers collect money for tickets and accommodation during the internship. 

But the volunteers - it's apparently unblameworthy to ask them for material aid. And the authorities at all levels should have an ideal picture that does not load them with problems of some sort of doctors or teachers. 

Who is next?

Our doctors are always at the forefront, the first who come to help the patients, the first to rush to the call, whether it is an accident, explosion or plane crash.

Therewith, it is already common, when, instead of gratitude for saving the life, the doctors are beaten, insulted, humiliated. At least 17 facts of attacks on doctors have been registered in 2015 only in Bishkek. There were not less aggressive patients in 2016. 

 But the Ministry of Health can not help the doctors.

"It seems to me that it is time to protect doctors who perform their duties by the law. I, together with the members of Parliament will work out this issue," the Minister Talantbek Batyraliev promised in an interview with 24.kg news agency.

Six months have already passed. What has changed? Nothing, because promising and banning is easier than doing.

It remains only to ban teachers to complain and give interviews to the press. Then we'll live in a quiet, "free" and "democratic" country.