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Hospital’s doctors rally against the owner

By Tatia Megeneishvili
Wednesday, September 4
The dispute surrounding the M. Iashvili Central Children's Hospital continues. The opposing sides still cannot agree. The new owner of Iashvili hospital, a citizen of Turkey, Tekin Atik, who heads the Universal Hospital Group, was kept from entering the building by the clinic staff.

This is the company which has bought five hospitals from Avante Hospital Management Group including Iashvili Children's Central Hospital; Tsitsishvili Children’s New Clinic; Paediatrics, Allergology and Rheumatology Centre; Women's Health Centre New Life and the Maternal and Child Health Republican Centre.

However, the doctors doubt the legality of the sale of the clinic and insist that the Ministry of Labor Health and Social Affairs of Georgia investigate the case as soon as possible.

In an interview with Gurianews, Atik stressed that anyone can verify whether the property had been acquired legally. “Before we were officially interested in this issue, we looked for the information from the network about hospitals for sale. The Turkish company was interested which one would meet our requirements. We have done everything legally,” stated Atik. He also said that they wanted to meet the clinic staff from the very beginning, but the salesman told them before the sale it was not necessary, saying first they had to negotiate and solve the issue, and afterwards talk to the staff.

Atik also said that they have frozen money on account for 6 month, because they had information about the former owners’ problems.

Minister of Labor, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia, Davit Sergeenko, said this is large pediatric holding. Only an insane person can act like this and sell the clinic like a brewery. Foreign investors are usually looking for solid lobbyists with the government, but those investors do harm to the clinic,” stated Sergeenko. He also said that if it becomes necessary, the state legally and strategically will apply the law about strategic objects. He said if the situation does not normalize between the medical staff and the Universal Hospital Group, the hospitals will move under compulsory management.

The former owner of Iashvili hospital, Gia Natsvlishvili said that this clinic was privately-owned and they had the right to sell it. “Why should I have informed Sergeenko about it? This is a private company, let’s say I have bought a factory, and then I sold it, should I have to ask the Minister of Economy?” stated Natsvlishvili. He said that Iashvili hospital was bought on auction. First it was put on auction for 6, 000, 000 GEL, but his company as a result of competition, brought it for 10, 400, 000 GEL. Nastvlishvili also said that they were holding negotiations with the Turkish company for 4 months. Only after that were they able to sell it. “This is a very serious company,” he stressed.

Representative of Christian Democratic Movement, Magda Anikashvili, also responded to the issue. She said that government should study the legality of the sale. “The new government should be interested in how the pediatric sector was bought by the former owner and how it was later sold to the Turkish company,” stressed Anikashvili. She said the government should also find out what obligations the former owner had and if he had fulfilled them because she said that if the company does not fulfill the obligations, then this sale deal must be declared illegal.