PROTECTING THE SICK: Workers protest changes that would improve the hospital system, and root out possible corruption.
RIGA - Over 100 persons, mainly personnel, gathered at Stradins University Clinical Hospital Ward #15 on April 25 to protest a rumored Health Ministry plan to overhaul management at the hospital, reports LETA. The staff members stopped their work for 15 minutes, but there were no banners or placards, no shouts or chants. They did express their viewpoint on why the current management should be retained.
Also on hand was Valdis Keris, head of the medical professionals union.
Three days later, on April 28, Stradins University Clinical Hospital named a new board, appointing Ruta Valtere as its chairperson. Eva Strike and Guntis Bahs will also serve three-year terms as members.
This move was made in accordance with the Health Ministry’s stance that the hospital is in “dire need of changes and a fresh vision for its future development, that can only be brought about by revamping the board.”
As a result, contracts were not renewed for heretofore chairman Modris Dzenitis and board member Raimonds Bricis.
The Health Ministry held a meeting on April 28, where the performance and conduct of the previous board was being reviewed
Following the shareholder meeting at the Health Ministry, Dzenitis explained that he has been relieved of duties because the hospital’s budget “was not adequately balanced.” He insisted that the board had done everything possible to serve the community, but the Health Ministry “did not trust it.”
Dzenitis said that he has no information about the rumored probe being conducted by the Corruption Prevention Bureau into operations at Stradins, in turn denying that the hospital is 17 million lats (24.2 million euros) in debt.