Medical panel invited by ombudswoman: Saakashvili needs ‘immediate transfer’ to civil clinic

  • Georgian government officials say that former president Mikheil Saakashvili’s transfer to a civil clinic carries safety risks. Photo: Nino Alavidze/, 18 Nov 2021 - 11:26, Tbilisi,Georgia

A medical council composed of eight health experts under Georgian Public Defender Nino Lomjaria has presented its conclusion on the health of former president Mikheil Saakashvili, stating that the patient’s condition on the 49th day of his hunger strike is ‘critical,’  and he needs an ‘immediate transfer’ to a multi-profile, well-equipped civilian clinic. 

The council of doctors visited Saakashvili in Gldani Prison No.18 hospital, where he was transferred last week ‘to prevent complications in his health,’ on November 16. 

The conclusion says that Saakashvili is really on hunger strike and currently he has the following health problems: Wernicke encephalopathy (an acute neurological condition characterized by a clinical triad of ophthalmoplegia, ataxia, and confusion), persistent hypokalemia (abnormalities of renal function), thalassemia (an inherited blood disorder) with  high probability of gastrointestinal bleeding. 

The experts say that Saakashvili refuses to receive complete treatment and that he is in a ‘highly stressful environment.’ 

The council of doctors say that the existing health issues may cause coma, lethal arrhythmia, renal failure, health failure, gastrointestinal bleeding or other ‘possible fatal consequence’ in the near future. 

They stated that Gldani prison hospital lacks all medical equipment to ensure a proper treatment of the former president, considering the ‘several, serious health issues.’ 

Lomjaria has officially requested from the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) today to allow her to get involved in Saakashvili’s health-related case as the third party. 

If the court gives her the possibility, Lomjaria will be able to visit Saakashvili anytime, in any prison.

She says that if the court dismisses the request, she will anyway send them the conclusion of the medical council as the ECHR is monitoring Saakashvili’s imprisonment and hunger strike in accordance with the application by the former president.