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Clinic where woman died in childbirth to be closed

By Salome Modebadze
Wednesday, February 22
The new maternity centre where a 26-year old woman died in childbirth will have its license revoked, Prime Minister Nika Gilauri announced at Tuesday's governmental session. As Gilauri explained, the clinic, which was privatized by a collective last February, should have been rehabilitated but unfortunately the owners had failed to meet the required standards.

Expressing his condolences to the late Nino Martoiani’s family, the Prime Minister said the clinic will have its license suspended until it is rehabilitated and equipped with facilities to ensure the safety of patients.

The Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs investigated the fatal case, and discovered that the clinic had violated its license conditions.

Minister Andria Urushadze spoke of the poor quality of care in the clinic, noting that the responsibility of the medical staff would be discussed. Violations of medical standards, according to Urushadze, endanger the life of mothers and their newborns. He said all current patients would be transferred to those maternity centres which follow government standards. All costs of their treatment will be covered by the state.

After Martoiani’s death, her doctor attempted suicide by jumping from the second floor of the hospital, suffering severe fractures. She remains in hospital.

Martoiani's relatives say they had brought the pregnant woman to the clinic in good health, but her condition suddenly worsened after her delivery. She later died from loss of blood.

The family believes that the child also died during the delivery, but hospital personnel lied to them and presented them with someone else's baby. They demand DNA analysis to be sure that the newborn they were shown is Martoiani’s child.

“We won't take the baby home until the DNA test, but before she is here let [the hospital] ensure a safe environment for her,” Zurab Pitskhelauri, Martoiani’s husband, said.

The hospital’s director has denied responsibility, but admitted that the building needed rehabilitation. “We were going to move to modern standards, but unfortunately such a terrible incident happened [first],” he said, adding that his hospitals’ medical history will prove that they have saved many lives.