Going under the knife in Russia's underfunded hospitals became more stressful this week as doctors warned the country was running out of anaesthetics, a leading newspaper reported Wednesday.
Hospitals are facing drastic shortages of several types of anaesthetics such as adrenaline and atropine as bureaucratic backlogs keep out foreign firms and Russian companies dump licenses for unprofitable drugs, the Gazeta daily said.
"There are no samples at the distributors and the demand is enormous," said Armen Bunyatyan, the vice president of the All-Russian Federation of Anaesthetists. "Surgery is threatened with paralysis".
Saint Petersburg governor Valentina Matviyenko wrote to the health ministry on Tuesday to investigate the supply of drugs to the city as experts urged the government to intervene.
"What does an anaesthetist do if 10 people are brought in from a car crash and he only has two ampoules out of the 10 needed? How and who do you choose?" Moscow's chief anaesthetist Yevgeny Yevdokimov told the paper.