Medics at Niyazov Hospital extort food from relatives of their patients

Relatives of patients in the intensive care unit of Ashgabat’s Niyazov Hospital have complained that doctors and nurses are constantly demanding to bring them food. This situation was reported by Radio Azatlyk, referring to the stories of relatives of those staying in the hospital.

According to their information, the medical staff from the intensive care unit asks to bring them food two or three times during the day. Moreover, each doctor asks separately. And since the relatives of patients are not allowed to enter the ward for fear that their loved ones will not be properly examined, people have to comply with the requests.

“Sometimes relatives ask doctors or nurses if the patients eat what they bring. The nursing staff rudely replied, ‘How should I know, maybe they did’. The relatives of the patients, fearing for their relatives, try not to respond to rudeness,” said a family member of one of the patients and added that not all patients can eat the food that the medical staff ask them to bring. Consequently, people conclude that such demands are another way of extorting bribes.

Relatives of hospital patients are also not allowed to make a “waiting room” in the corridors of the medical center. Only on cold days, people are allowed to wait on the stairwells, but this is rare. Often people wait in the courtyard of the hospital to hear about the health of a relative.

We would like to add that in October this year there were reports about terrible conditions in this medical centre. Even people who are used to living modestly are horrified by the situation inside the hospital. After all, not everyone can bear the stench and the smell of excrement, which makes their eyes water. In addition, Radio Azatlyk correspondents reported that cockroaches were running around in the wards and bed bugs were swarming in the beds.

Despite the deplorable conditions, the Niyazov Hospital continues to be in demand among the population for several reasons. Firstly, conditions in most other medical centers are even worse. Secondly, the prices for services for patients are noticeably lower than in other hospitals.

It is noteworthy that Turkmenistan’s authorities loudly proclaim their achievements in improving the healthcare system and spend tens of millions of dollars to build new medical centers. But for the majority of the population, new clinics are inaccessible due to the high cost of treatment. And the authorities are in no hurry to put old hospitals in order.