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Compiled by Lera Khubunaia
Monday, February 20
Over 100 doctors fired in Zugdidi

Block Georgia, the corporation that owns Zugdidi Central Hospital, recently fired 120 medical personnel. Head of the hospital Ketevan Zarqua has prohibited doctors from receiving patients after January 28, and Block Georgia will close the facility by March 1, according to a report published by Rezonansi.

It is currently unknown what measures the government will take to offset the Zugdidi hospital closure. While new clinics are being built, they are often less affordable for patients and make use of unpaid medical stuff.

Doctors have already begun to fight back. Many staged a protest outside of the regional administrative building of Samegrelo and Zemo-Svaneti, demanding that the government take action. In addition to this, the approximately 120 medical personnel who lost their jobs intend to file suit against Block Georgia.

Only six medical personnel were re-hired by the company, with Zarqua being unable to promise jobs for the rest of the group. In addition, doctors claim that the company misappropriated 10% of their stock. Representatives of Block Georgia say that they own 100% of the hospital, and that doctors were never shareholders. According to the company, the hospital was closed because it was outdated, and doctors had poor test results.

Meanwhile, during a visit to the newly-built Dmanisi hospital, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili promised that health care would be made available to all Georgian citizens, and that doctors would receive their salaries on time.

Tsereteli: Ivanishvili not mentioned at Saakashvili meeting with majority

Within the next week, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili will present his annual report to Parliament. In the meantime, the majority faction of Parliament has met face-to-face with the President, according to Kvela Siakhle.

"This was another ordinary meeting. These types of meetings are held regularly, during which the President discusses with us all the challenges that face our country. Also, he summed up all the [past actions]. This time, he shared with us about his visit to the United States and his thoughts about his meeting with President Barack Obama. We talked about all the new projects that will be implemented in our country in the near future," said Gigi Tsereteli, Vice-Chair of Parliament.

A reporter from Kvela Siakhle spoke with Tsereteli.

KS: [Did] President Saakashvili speak about the opposition, mainly about Bidzina Ivanishvili?

GT: During our meeting with the President, nothing was said about Ivanishvili. Naturally, the discussion was about the current political situation in the country. We also spoke about [recent polls], according to which society still has great trust for the United National Movement and Mr. Saakashvili. The President said that this is a huge responsibility for us. It was said that at this stage it is necessary to have good communication with the public; we visit many different regions and [the visits] will continue.

KS: Many say that before the parliamentary elections, Mikheil Saakashvili will step down from his presidency and will participate in the elections. There are rumours that he might even run for the deputy of the Gldani majority.

GT: We never spoke about anything like that in this meeting. I do not know who spreads this kind of information. We will continue to work in our normal format, and so will the President.