Current Time Report Sparks Investigation At Makeshift Hospital In Moscow Region
By Current Time May 25, 2020
MOSCOW -- Prosecutors in Moscow say they have started an investigation after Current Time reported alleged shortages of medicines and labor violations at a makeshift hospital for coronavirus patients set up by a well-known Azerbaijani-Russian businessman Araz Agalarov.
The Moscow region's prosecutor's office said that a legal assessment will be made assessing the actions of officials involved in the operation of the hospital that was set up at Agalarov's Crocus Expo exhibition complex in the town of Krasnogorsk, near Moscow.
The statement came after Current Time, along with the investigative Scanner Project, published the results of their joint investigation that shows Agalarov obtained state contracts worth almost 2 billion rubles ($28 million) without a tender to set up the hospital.
Current Time is a Russian-language network led by RFE/RL in cooperation with VOA.
Several medical personnel at the facility, speaking on condition of anonymity, said two weeks into their work they still had no labor contracts and that there was a lack of medical equipment -- including for personal protection -- and medicine for patients at the hospital.
The physicians told Current Time they initially had been promised 250,000 rubles ($3,500) for a 36-hour work week, but later that was changed to 72 work hours.
The doctors added that they had been threatened to have their compensation cut further if they complained about the conditions.
Nurses at the makeshift hospital started receiving and signing labor contracts on May 22.
The hospital currently has about 500 patients.
Officials at the Hospital No. 1 in Krasnogorsk, which supervises the makeshift hospital's operations, refused to comment on the situation, telling Current Time reporters to make their enquiries at the regional Health Ministry.
However, nobody at the ministry was available for immediate comment, Current Time reported.
Copyright (c) 2020. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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