]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]       IN ONE WORD: DISGRACE       [[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[    
                 by PRAVDA correspondent B.Mironov          (1/24/1989) 
           published by PRAVDA on or about 1/22/1988 

     [Kindly uploaded by Freeman Herbert Loebl (06784LOEB), who writes 
in an accompanying note: 
     "Let me add that none of our major media would reprint this 
Pravda article because it would be considered anti-Communist!  As a 
matter of fact Ted Turner produced a "documentary" in 1988 on the same 
region (Lake Baikal): PORTRAIT OF THE SOVIET UNION in which the
narrator, bird-brained Roy Scheider of shark-fame croons:  `Today, 
modern Soviet medicine reaches out to every Soviet citizen.' " ]
 
Mogocha Region, Chita province, January 22, 1988

            G.SUVERENEV, deputy of Regional Soviet:  "We have no power,
      none!  We promise a lot before elections but have no money to 
      fulfill the promises.
            A.MIKHAILOV, head physician of the Mogocha Region:  "The 
      wretched poverty of the Mogocha Regional Hospital is truly 
      unbelievable".
            V.BAEV, Regional Party Secretary:  "We elected him (K.Terekh, 
      Mogocha's Representative to the Supreme Soviet in Moscow) by 
      correspondence, or as they say here: a pig in the poke".
            K.TEREKH, Representative of Mogocha Region:  "Actually,... I 
      did not meet many of my constituents".

     By local standards it wasn't really cold, -17C (zero F).  
Miner Anatoly Krivitskikh had a minute to talk.  Are the wages 
high?  "No, many come here for them -- they don't stay on.  But the 
land is ours, how could we leave it"?
     But why live in the Taiga (a forest belt) in concrete cubicles
full of cracks, why not in wooden buildings?  V.Burek, head of the 
"price-formation" department of Chita explains:  "It would indeed be 
rational to live in this cold climate in wooden houses, but 
unfortunately timber has not been included by Moscow on the strictly 
regulated list of local goods and we do not have the right to 
price it."
     The Krivitskikhs are lucky.  There is a hospital in 
Ksenievkaya, their village.  Many villages in the Transbaikal (the 
region east of lake Baikal including Mogocha) don't have one.  
Itaka, a gold miners settlement has one consisting of a 
curtained-off corner with 3 beds for men.  Behind another curtain
with 4 beds is the women and children's ward.  "We don't have any 
equipment"  sighed manager N.Komleva.  "All we get is syringes".
     "Itaka is in a difficult situation", acknowledges A.Mikhailov, 
the head physician for the Mogocha Region.  "But it isn't the 
worst.  In Davenda for 2900 people there is only one lone doctor.  
In the Mogocha Regional hospital we have 17 instead of 36 doctors.
Since 1972 we haven't had an eye, nor an ear nose and throat 
specialist.  We send our patients to Chita, 20 hours by train.  
There they are not expected, have no accommodations, wander around 
at the station and then come back.  The wretched poverty of the 
Mogocha Regional hospital is truly unbelievable.  We have nothing
with which to treat bronchial asthma, radiculitis, osteochondrosis,
hypertension, the gastro- intestinal tract.  Before an operation a
surgeon washes his hands in water heated on a stove in a teakettle.
The hospital does not have its own water supply, it is hauled in by
truck.  There is no sewage system.  They use unheated outhouses
where it can be 50 below.
    The new one story wooden clinic was build for Mogocha
residents as a gift for the 70th anniversary of the Revolution.  It
can not be opened because they lack 40 hot water radiators.  They
are unavailable . None in the Region, none in the neighboring Region
or in the entire Province."
   "The cold, however, is not the worst.  Much greater harm comes from
the effects of biologically active and toxic micro and macroelements
such as fluorine, mercury, molybdenum.  They cause fluorosis, goiter,
Urov disease, molybdenum gout, and other ailments. It would seem that
the ministries in Moscow ought to be concerned but the opposite is
true.  They are fare away and it is hard for them to see how people
live here.
     But our local authorities should be responsible for the health
of the residents too.  41 of 75 deputies of the Regional People's
Soviet are workers after all!  Why then, under people's power are
the people's lives so difficult?"
     "We have no power", G.Suverenev, an engineer at the Mogocha
Locomotive Depot and a deputy at the Regional Soviet said, with a
dismissing wave of its hand.  "None!  We promise people a lot before
elections, but we have no money to fulfill the promises.  In one
word: Shame!  Only 20,000 Rubles are allocated for all hospitals in
the region, but 97,000 are needed to build the simplest wooden
regional clinic."
     "Our program for improving life"  recounts V.Kolobov, chairman
of the Mogocha Region, "was inhumanly cut back.  Instead of three 89
unit apartment buildings, the ministry (in Moscow) gave us
permission to construct one.  They cut back on sewage treatment.
Waste will continue to pollute the river and dysentery and jaundice
will be halted only with the onset of cold weather.  The Ministry of
Metallurgy in a colonial manner exploits the region.  They take
raw-material while leaving nothing in return.  Arrogant departmental
policy (Moscow central planning) is inflicting enormous losses.  The
Ministry for Transportation wasted 12 million Rubles on a wood
processing plant in Amazar, wasted, because the plant needs pine and
all there is around is larch."
     Party Secretary V.Baev:  "The people are very patient here,
but even their patients runs out if 100,000 Rubles can not be found
to build a needed hospital, while millions are wasted on the Amazar
plant.  And Amazar is not unique!  It would seem that the Supreme
Soviet of the USSR, to which the voters of Mogocha elected a deputy,
could intervene.  But they elected him without having laid eyes on
him.  At the last election the candidate K.Terekh didn't even come
to Mogocha.  He was elected by correspondence -- as they say here:
A pig in a poke".
     In a meeting in Moscow, deputy K.Terekh responded to the
"candid words" of Mogocha voters:  "Actually, I have been to
Mogocha, but I did not meet many voters.  The serious affair of the
industry  (he also happens to be the USSR Minister of Trade) do not
allow me to take long trips.  But in March I will visit the people
of Mogocha.  Meanwhile I am doing everything in my power to have
goods shipped to  Chita.  The quantity meets the plans, of course
the plans provide a low level of satisfaction."
     Where is the way out for the people of Mogocha?  It was
pointed out at the XXVII Party Congress: very intensively and
steadily developing socialist popular self-government, and
strengthening the authority and power of the Soviets of People's
Deputies.  The power of the Soviets must not only proclaimed in
slogans, it must also be affirmed in life. (etc. etc.)

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