Parents of children undergoing treatment at the Blokhin Moscow Oncology Center (NMIC) complained of intimidation from management after the death of two girls who did not survive bone marrow transplants. The trade union "Alliance of Doctors" told about the tragedy at the weekend, the patients were 14 and 17 years old. The cancer center explained that the adolescents had complications after the transplant, and the chances of their recovery were initially low.
The Alliance of Doctors reported that parents, whose children are in the pediatric oncology department, were forbidden to "open their mouths" under threat of discharge. One of the mothers, on condition of anonymity, confirmed to Novaya Gazeta that such threats were being made. "The staff of the center approached me personally in the morning and said that if I start a parental riot, I will cure with my child like a traffic jam," she said.
According to the interlocutor of the publication, the parents agreed to gather in the lobby of the oncology center in a general chat and make a public address. But in the morning "all the information was already at the top": the leadership found out when and where the "meeting" was being prepared. In the opinion of the patient's mother, "either someone informs", or strangers read the chat under the guise of parents.
After the failed speech, the chat participants were warned that their whereabouts would be tracked: "if you open your mouth, we will go and check that all parents are there," said Anastasia Vasilyeva, head of the Alliance of Doctors. Parents insist on the return of the team of the dismissed professor Georgy Mentkevich to the oncology center.
The professor himself told the newspaper that his team performed a bone marrow transplant on one of the deceased patients, she underwent the operation well. New doctors were involved in the second girl. According to Mentkevich, they changed her immunosuppression scheme - suppressing the body's innate ability to ward off diseases and infections. In correspondence with an employee of the Doctors' Alliance, one of the fired doctors said that the girl could not radically change her therapy, as this would lead to complications.
The Blokhin center claims that both transplants were performed by the old team of doctors, and with the arrival of the new team of doctors, "the children received the most modern treatment." Vasilyeva previously said that at the time of the doctors' dismissal, four children were in the recovery phase after bone marrow transplantation, and their condition "did not cause any fears." A "doctor of medical sciences, a leading researcher" worked with them, but, according to Vasilyeva, the deputy director of the National Medical Research Center Kirill Kirgizov dismissed this employee and appointed doctors from the Dima Rogachev Federal Scientific Center on duty, who allegedly radically changed the treatment scheme for children.
Recall that in the fall, a conflict broke out between doctors and the new director of the Research Institute, Svetlana Varfolomeeva, at the Research Institute of Pediatric Oncology and Hematology of the Blokhin National Medical Research Center. Doctors accused the new leadership of nepotism, destabilizing the clinic's work, as well as endangering the lives of children. Doctors also talked about lowering salaries and the lack of transparency in their calculation and threatened to fire them. The director of the National Medical Research Center, Ivan Stilidi, suggested that the claims of the doctors were related to the struggle for Varfolomeeva's place and discontent over the tightening of discipline.
In early October, Stilidi fired Georgy Mentkevich, deputy director of the Research Institute of Pediatric Oncology and Hematology, with a reprimand "for boorish behavior." Mentkevich participated in the recording of a video message from oncologists with a complaint against the management.
After that, Mentkiewicz and his team called a press conference. It was reported that parents of patients in the children's department were threatened with discharge for participating in the event. The deputy director of the research institute, Maxim Rykov, who later quit, said that the protection of the cancer center prevents parents from contacting the media: when journalists arrive, they are locked up in wards with their children. In November, nine doctors resigned from the oncology center.