Russian pro-Kremlin party to demand health minister’s resignation at Moscow rally

Russia’s pro-Kremlin A Just Russia party will demand the dismissal of the country’s health and social development minister, Tatyana Golikova, during a demonstration in downtown Moscow on Wednesday, the party’s Moscow branch said.

“The key directions entrusted to the current minister have not been developed; health care and social protection systems have been degrading,” the party said in a statement. “The reasons for this are obvious for many: catastrophic corruption, bureaucratization and the low professional level of [health ministry] officials.”

The meeting is scheduled to take place at 1:00 p.m. Moscow time (09:00 GMT) in front of the Russian Ministry of Health and Social Development building on Neglinnaya Street.

Golikova, a former deputy finance minister, has been Russia’s health minister since September 2007. In April 2011, her ministry came under sharp criticism from Russia’s leading pediatrician Leonid Roshal, who said that there was “no normal experienced organizer of the health service” in the ministry.

The ministry responded by saying the statement was nothing else but Roshal’s “personal opinion.”

In early May, the Kremlin denied media allegations about Golikova’s possible dismissal. A representative of the presidential administration told RIA Novosti the information was “unfounded” and did not “comply with the truth.”

During his news conference on May 18, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said the country’s government was operating as a “well-coordinated mechanism,” adding that “pulling some of its links out” would be incorrect.

A Just Russia also strongly criticized the country’s health care organization following the controversial death of its member Sergei Goloviznin in mid-April. Goloviznin’s friends say he died of a heart attack at the entrance gate of one of Russia’s leading hospitals after their car was denied entrance to the hospital and doctors showed reluctance to provide Goloviznin with necessary medical assistance.

A medical examination showed that Goloviznin had died about two hours before his friends brought him to the hospital.

MOSCOW, May 24 (RIA Novosti) 

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