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ST. PETERSBURG, February 3 (Itar-Tass) – About 800 St. Petersburg residents were participating in a rally, which the St. Petersburg authorities permitted on the Field of Mars in protection of the city clinical hospital number 31 on Sunday. “The event was held without any violations of the public order,” the police told Itar-Tass. The organizers claimed that “up to 1,000 people” gathered on the square.
The participants in the protest action are concerned that the hospital on the Krestovsky Island will become a clinic for the judges and jurists of the Supreme and High Courts of Arbitration after their transfer in St. Petersburg despite official statements. They believe that when the attention of the society to the problem will be on the decline, the sanctions against the doctors, who state openly about this situation, will follow.
Federal and city authorities stated that no decisions were taken for the transfer or disbandment of the hospital number 31, where the children’s cancer centre is housed.
“Over coming requests from several deputies of the State Duma and the St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly, as well as St. Petersburg residents over the future of the hospital number 31 the Russian presidential property management department find it necessary to report that the hospital is not taken as the premises for setting up a future medical centre to provide the medical services for the judges and jurists of the Supreme and High Courts of Arbitration in case of the transfer of the courts in St. Petersburg,” press secretary of the Russian chief presidential property manager Viktor Khrekov told Itar-Tass.
Speaker of the Federation Council and senator from St. Petersburg Valentina Matviyenko and St. Petersburg Governor Georgy Poltavchenko voiced their absolutely clear position on this problem. “Today everybody can calm down and not to worry about this problem. I hope that people will react correctly. But the emotions of people can be understood, their concerns were just,” Matviyenko noted.
Meanwhile, leader of the A Just Russia faction in the St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly Alexei Kovalev told Itar-Tass after the rally that “there are no official documents, legally binding documents, which would testify that the problem of the hospital number 31 is solved.” “People do not believe in this in the city,” he added.