The Prime Minister of the Sarajevo Canton (KS) urged prosecutors to investigate the allegations from an open letter allegedly penned by the medical staff of the Sarajevo University Clinical Center (KCUS) who complained about the inadequate treatment of COVID-19 patients at the institution.
The letter focused particularly on the use of ventilators which were purchased last year in a controversial procedure that is currently the subject of a court trial. According to the authors of the letter, who did not reveal their names, the ventilators are useless and “chances of patients to survive on them are – zero.”
The clinical centre’s management strongly dismissed the allegations and dubbed the media which published the open letter “tabloids.”
The letter sparked fury on social media and led Sarajevo Canton Health Minister to invite the head of the KCUS, Sebija Izetbegovic, for an urgent meeting.
KCUS management met with KS Government representatives on Monday.
KS Prime Minister, Edin Forto, said after the meeting that he refused to sign a conclusion the KCUS management presented to him that said all of the activities in the institution were in line with the law and regulations.
Forto said the KS Government asked for the establishment of an expert body which should be formed by the government of Bosnia’s Federation (FBiH) entity and the FBiH Health Ministry in order to establish the facts regarding the issue of the ventilators, but the request was denied.
“We ask the BiH Prosecutor’s Office and the Sarajevo Canton Prosecution to check all the claims regarding this case, especially in regard to the claims that people’s lives are endangered,” Forto said at a press conference.
He said he asked for the KCUS to submit reports for every issue raised regarding the activities of the institution and called on all KCUS employees who might have knowledge of “actions outside the standards of the profession” to report it.
“The government will protect them from retaliation and harmful consequences,” he added.
He called for a new KCUS board of directors to be formed, arguing that it must include a representative of the KS Government.