Friday, August 18, 2017

Russia's top military physician dismissed in wake of pneumonia outbreak

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu fired acting Chief Military Doctor Vyacheslav Novikov on Monday following numerous soldier deaths from pneumonia.

The Russian military healthcare system has drawn scrutiny and criticism due to allegation of corruption and failure to provide medical care to its soldiers. Since December, five soldiers have died from pneumonia, according to Ria Novosti.

Novikov replaced Alexander Belevitin in July after Belevitin received an eight year prison sentence for receiving kickbacks when purchasing overpriced medical equipment.

Shoigu said in December that approximately 75 percent of military healthcare facilities were in dire need of renovation and that the majority of such facilities had been in use for over 40 years, Ria Novosti reports.

Since his appointment as defense minister in November, Shoigu has also dismissed high-ranking official Anatoly Serdyukov on allegations of real estate fraud worth nearly $100 million.