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16-year old in coma due to lack of ambulance cars in Ambrolauri

By Levan Abramishvili
Wednesday, July 31
A 16-year old from the town of Ambrolauri, from the Racha-Lechkhumi and Kvemo Svaneti region, is in a coma because he required more medical attention than they could provide in his hometown. The ambulance that was driving him broke down halfway to the destination, the breathing machine also broke, causing his brain to stop functioning.

“A 16-year old was taken to the Ambrolauri hospital, with a severe virus, in very bad condition. The local medical staff was able to stabilize him, but he needed more medical attention. Ambulance that came from Tsalenjikha !!! [a town in Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti region, approximately 3,5 hours away from Ambrolauri] The car was in pretty bad shape and required several hours to get to the destination. The boy was taken while connected to a breathing machine. The car broke down near Shaori, the breathing machine also stopped working, and they kept him alive through artificial respiration until they reached Tkibuli hospital, but, due to the lack of oxygen, his brain stopped functioning. Another ambulance was called there, and he was taken to Kutaisi. Today he’s in a coma, in a terrible condition; unfortunately, the chance of him surviving is minimal…” wrote Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi Public School #124, where 16-year-old Luka is a student.

The school asked their supporters to pray for Luka because “this is all we can do right now.”

The story sounds like something out of 19th-century horror fiction, but, unfortunately, it’s happening right now in Georgia.

In response to the incident, a petition was created on the Georgian platform for petitions,, demanding an ambulance and medical group for the Ambrolauri and Oni municipality hospitals.

According to the author of the petition, due to the lack of ambulance cars and disaster response teams, in these municipalities, human lives are under constant threat.

“The Racha-Lechkhumi and Kvemo-Svaneti region, in particular, the Ambrolauri and Oni Municipality hospitals do not have a disaster response team, which has posed a threat to human life on several occasions,” states the text of the petition.

According to the petition, the hospitals there are understaffed, and most of the doctors are general practitioners, which often creates a need of transportation of patients to other hospitals, where they are treated with appropriate doctors.

“The latest incident [referring to 16-year old’s case] showed us that due to the lateness of an ambulance called from another region, the already grave situation became worse,” reads the petition.

“For the most part, the condition of a patient is dependent upon rapid response and efficient assistance, therefore, a disaster response team, with qualified personnel and orderly car needs to be in place to respond as quickly as possible,” says the author of the petition.

The petition demands from all the relevant agencies to create a disaster response team for the Ambrolauri and Oni municipalities, to ensure the timely and effective treatment of the patients.

At the time of writing the article, the petition has 1287 signatures and aims to reach 3000. It is addressed to the Government of Georgia, the President and the Ministry Of Labor, Health And Social Affairs.

A quick look at the 2019 budget of the Ambrolauri Municipality creates a good understanding of where the priorities of the local and central governments lie. While the budget for cultural, religious, youth and sports events is 1399,4 (GEL thousand), healthcare and social security only have the budget of 580,1 (GEL thousand) (full budget can be accessed by the public at

While the Government is actively promoting Georgia abroad as a desirable tourist destination and activists on social media are urging their friends to ‘Spend Their Summer in Georgia’, lives of teens like Luka and thousands of other people are under constant danger due to the government's utter negligence.