This was my process: I was scanning the Russian press for an interesting story, and I saw this one in ROSBALT. I used to read ROSBALT religiously, then not so much after it became a kreakl mag. But they still have the occasional good story, and this one looked promising. I am always interested in medical stories, especially ones exposing dubious practices and bureaucracy. The story I saw in ROSBALT is about the shortage of anesthesiologists and nurse anesthesiologists in the hospitals of Sebastopol, Russia. Especially Hospital #1, named after Nikolai Ivanovich Pirogov. Interestingly enough, according to his wiki page, Pirogov pioneered the use of ether as an anesthetic while performing surgeries. “He was the first surgeon to use anaesthesia in a field operation (1847), invented various kinds of surgical operations, and developed his own technique of using plaster casts to treat fractured bones. He is one of the most widely recognized Russian physicians.”
The Pirogov Hospital is the only real trauma center in the city of Sebastopol, this is where people are brought after a fire or accident; and thus this institution is in dire need of retaining good anesthesiology staff.
Degree #1: An anesthesiologist submits a petition.
According to the ROSBALT article, in the last few months (April – August), the hospital has lost 7 anesthesiology doctors. The reason: long hours and low wages. The docs were forced to work double shifts. Seven docs quit, and even more are disgruntled and planning to leave. The situation is even worse with nurse anesthesiologists and student nurses (“sanitarki”). The Pirogov Hospital is down 19 anesthesiology nurses/student nurses, and is unable to fully staff itself.
“Unfortunately, our direct management prefers not to notice the problem and quietly signs off on the resignations. There are no plans to hire new staff, as the old staff leave for other jobs. We wish they [the management] would listen to us, because you never know when something catastrophic might happen.”
These words were written in a petition. The author of the petition adds that the very same problem is happening in all the hospitals and medical centers in Sebastopol. “The Head of the Health Department for the city, Yu.E. Voskanyan absolutely has no control over the situation,” the petition avers.
Degree #2: Change.org
I have no doubt that many Russian hospitals are understaffed, and that conditions at the Pirogov Trauma Center are probably brutal and demanding. As is the situation at many hospitals all over the world. And submitting a petition to rectify the situation seems like a rational course of action, no? It’s what I would do, if I worked there. Well, maybe a petition to the Sebastopol municipal government, or even the Federal Government? No… Instead let us submit the petition via an online app called change.org. Like an over-achieving boy scout, this worthy organization seeks to perform at least one good deed every single day of the year: from protecting a schoolgirl against bullies, to making sure that Russian hospitals are fully staffed with nurse anesthesiologists.
Because an internet start-up with a great team such as this one, with branches all over the world, including their “Russia coordinator”, a guy named Dmitry Savelau, who lives in Amsterdam – these lovely young people could not possibly have any ulterior motives, other than just working to help mankind. No?
Degree #3: Ben Rattray
The founder and CEO of change. org is a young man named Ben Rattray, a native of California. According to his wiki page, Ben was Homecoming King at his high school prom, and his dream was to become an investment banker, retire at age 35, and go into politics. To this end he focused his education on economics and political science. Then something happened; according to wiki, one of Ben’s brothers made a snarky comment about his (Ben’s) homosexuality, and this drove Ben to change course and found the do-gooder internet start-up.
Ben, a California Dreamboat who physically reminds me a little of my favorite English actor, Hugh Dancy, has everything going for him: He is young, cute, hip, and very very rich. With every new petition to mitigate some grievance or make the world a better place, it seems like the money just keeps rolling in.
Degree #4: Pierre Omidyar
Ben’s wiki page ends with the comment that “Change.org announced a $15 million round of investment led by the Omidyar Network in May 2013 and said its staff had grown to 170 people in 18 countries.”
Following the Easter egg trail to the Omidyar wiki page, well, you know me, so I don’t have to tell you that I was already sensing a conspiracy — well, I’m Russian, so it is in my DNA to be cynical and paranoid — it seems on the surface that these Westies just want to hire more nurses to staff the Trauma Center, but we know they actually want to drive the Russian army out of the Crimea… so, when I saw this sentence under “Partners”, of course I jumped up and went “Aha, I knew it!”
Of course, then I noticed that the reference to the “Central Intelligence Agency” is followed by wiki’s editorial frown: “Citation needed.” So, probably just some internet wag inserting it there among the likes of such philanthropic organizations as “Global Giving”, “Virgin Money”, “Sea Change Capital Partners”, and “World Of Good”. And yet, the wiki editor did not actually remove the quip!
Degree #5: The Central Intelligence Agency
Am I just being paranoid? Well, Mark Ames also apparently thinks that the billionaire Pierre Omidyar co-invested with the American government to do the 2014 coup in the Ukraine. The American government portion of the money came from the USAID, a CIA front. Pierre’s money came from … well, from his good works and charities. And yet they all acted together and coordinated their brilliant scheme.
Granted this is old news (the Ames piece is from February 2014), but I was only vaguely aware of the Omidyar name before. I don’t get out much. It was only by starting with the nurse anesthesiologists of the Pirogov Hospital in Sebastopol, that the bunny trail led me from change.org to Ben Rattray to Pierre Omidyar to (?) the CIA. And stipulating that this is a talented and remarkable group of businessmen who, like the founders of google, started off with good intentions, to create some awesome products, but perhaps got corrupted along the way by the minions of the Empire?
So, why would the CIA care about a shortage of anesthesiologists in a Sebastopol Hospital? Turn the question around: What wouldn’t they care? The American NSA has already proved beyond a reasonable doubt that it is their ambition to collect data on every human being on the planet, especially all of their relationships and social networks. They care about all the problems experienced by people in every nation, big or small. They want to help the people overthrow their governments fix their problems. They care deeply about every single thing that is going on, in every part of the globe. Hashtag #TheyCare