In September 2019, employees of the Moscow Research Institute of Pediatric Oncology and Hematology of the National Medical Research Center (NMIC) of Oncology named after N.N. Blokhin said that the new leadership prevents them from working. In a video message posted by the Alliance of Doctors trade union, two pediatric oncologists and two deputy directors of the institute complained that the facility did not have ventilation, the walls were moldy, the wards were overcrowded, and the distribution of staff wages became opaque.

“Instead of solving problems, the management started a hardware struggle,” explained oncologist Natalya Subbotina in the appeal. “The accrual of wages to employees has become a closed and unfair process and has become a tool for squeezing out those who are objectionable.”

The authors of the appeal delivered an ultimatum: if the management of the center is not replaced, then 26 doctors will leave the hospital right away.

“Doctors have added homework”

The scandal began to flare up in June 2019, when the Research Institute of Pediatric Oncology was headed by Svetlana Varfolomeeva. A few weeks after the appointment, the institute staff in an open letter asked President Vladimir Putin to dismiss her.

Deputy Research Institute Maxim Rykov then said that Varfolomeeva forces doctors who disagree with her policy to quit.

“We as volunteers work in the oncology center named after Blokhina since 2004, - said Irina Gordeeva, president of the regional public organization of disabled people “Creative Partnership”, RT. - When Varfolomeyeva came, the innovations immediately began. Doctors were required to attend all discussions - this is 2-3 times a day and for a long time. Doctors have added paperwork. She herself saw how doctors come to work at eight in the morning and stay up until nine in the evening. At the same time, they were almost not in the department - nurses were more concerned with children. “They began to say to doctors that if they do not fulfill all the new requirements, they can quit.”

According to Gordeeva, many employees have already filed for dismissal, and those who have not yet done so are actively looking for new jobs.

The fact that due to an increase in the number of duties, doctors began to pay less attention to patients, is confirmed by relatives of children being treated.

“Our doctors are being prevented from working. How can I explain to the child why we are waiting for the appointment of a doctor for 2 hours during working hours. In addition, the hospital’s buildings are old and without repair, but the new buildings were never opened, ”complains Inna Borisyuk (the name of the interlocutor was changed at her request, RT) complains in an interview with RT, who is the grandmother of one of the girls treated at the cancer center.

  • The building of the Russian Cancer Center named after N.N. Blokhin
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“Let's continue to work”

However, as RT found out, not all doctors were ready to support the ultimatum.

“I’ve been working here since 1976, and I can say that such conflicts always happen when changing leadership,” said in an interview with RT, the adviser to the director of the Research Institute of Pediatric Oncology and Hematology of the Russian Oncology Research Center of Oncology. N.N. Blokhina Vladimir Polyakov. “It's just the rejection of a new person who came up with his ideas.” Immediately, opposition to innovations and events began, everyone met with hostility. No discussion came about. Instead, I immediately went to the Internet, a letter to the president, and so on, without any attempt to agree. Moreover, this position was not agreed at the level of the entire team. ”

According to Polyakov, a lot of the appeals are not true.

“For example, the number of employees willing to quit was greatly overestimated. Eight applications have been written now, four of them are signed, and the rest are still being considered by the management. I think this will not affect the work of the institution. We have highly qualified employees who are interchangeable. Other institutions are ready to support us - the Federal Center of Dmitry Rogachev, the Republican Children's Clinical Hospital. We will continue to work, and the children will not suffer, ”he says.

“Justified requirements”

Working in the center of them. Blokhina children's oncologist Denis Shevtsov explained to RT that the innovations that outraged part of the team are related to the introduction of such basic things as electronic document management.

“Such events are always difficult because people have to adapt,” he says. “However, this is a general requirement accepted in the civilized world, and not the director’s personal desire.” As for the claims for the introduction of additional meetings, in all the world's leading centers the interaction of a multidisciplinary team is the basis of treatment. It is clear that this causes caution among the old team, but the question of why this is taken so acutely remains open. ”

According to the interlocutor, processing in the healthcare sector is inevitable when working with severe patients.

“I do not think that strict compliance with the Labor Code is possible in this area. The doctor’s profession is based on professionalism and conscience, and it’s not accepted to talk about recycling in this community, ”Shevtsov said.

Salary cuts, according to cancer center interviewed by RT specialists, were not an attempt to put pressure on unwanted employees.

“It was a review of our payroll affairs. We had to balance all bookkeeping. Therefore, in July there was a one-time reduction in salary, but since August everything has been returned to its previous level. A one-time decrease will not affect the average annual salary of employees, ”RT chief doctor of the Scientific Research Institute of Clinical Oncology of the Apparatus for Management of the Oncology Research Center for Oncology told RT N.N. Blokhina Alexey Butenko.

Regarding the poor condition of the hospital wards, according to Butenko, the problem has existed for a long time, but in the near future the cancer center should receive new buildings.

“Claims poured only now, when new ones are almost ready. This is a chronic situation, the buildings are old, but suitable, ”Butenko said.

Contact Svetlana Varfolomeeva RT failed.

The Ministry of Health called the claims of doctors unjustified and also regarded their actions as a "flagrant violation of medical ethics."

“The requirements that the director Varfolomeyeva makes to the team are absolutely justified, consistent with modern approaches and improve the quality of patient care. These requirements are fulfilled in all other oncological institutes of the country, ”the Ministry of Health said.

Prosecutor General's check

It is worth noting that in September 2019, the Prosecutor General's Office held in the center of them. Blokhin’s inspection, during which he revealed violations related to the use of the property of the institution and the provision of paid medical care, in which the Russian Doctor LLC acted as an intermediary. The audit materials were sent to the Investigative Committee of Russia for a criminal legal assessment of the actions of the cancer center workers.

A RT source familiar with the situation believes that the real cause of the conflict could be corruption in a health facility that existed before the new head arrived.

“I am an employee of the charity foundation and have been working with many hospitals for 15 years, including the Oncology Center named after Blokhin, - the interlocutor speaks. - There has always been a corruption component. The mother who was treating the child there said that they demanded a thousand dollars from her, although the child was entitled to free quota treatment. In another case known to me, the doctors said that a sick child can be tested only after a month, and you need to pay to speed up the process, ”

According to the source, there were also cases when, for a large sum of money, doctors promised to cure an incurable child.

“At the same time, Varfolomeev can be blamed for many things, but requisitions at the Center to them. Dmitry Rogachev, when she led him, has never been, ”says the source.

At the same time, relatives of one of the cancer center patients told RT that in three years of treatment they had been in the center of them. Blokhin’s family did not encounter anything like this.

“We did not pay a dime. All treatment was, as expected, free, ”the parents of the child say.