Doctor rejects claims ex-Pres. Saakashvili in need of intensive care treatment

Zurab Chkhaidze on Tuesday said Saakashvili was receiving a very small amount of food, while no dysfunction in the bodily function of food reception had been identified. Photo: IPN., 01 Feb 2023 - 11:58, Tbilisi,Georgia

Zurab Chkhaidze, the Clinical Director of the Vivamedi clinic in Tbilisi, on Tuesday rejected claims by family members and lawyers of the imprisoned former President Mikheil Saakashvili who said the latter was in “urgent need” of treatment in an intensive care unit. 

The doctor, who represents the clinic where the former official has been receiving treatment since May 2022, told the media Saakashvili’s physiological parameters remained “within the norm”, while his body mass index did not correspond to requirements for ICU treatment. 

He also noted the patient was receiving a “very small amount of food” and a “minimum amount” of calories required for maintaining vitality, while “no dysfunction or other interfering factors” in the bodily function of food reception had been identified.

Chkhaidze added Saakashvili had “categorically refused” intravenous administration of nutrition unless he was placed in an ICU, and noted the clinic was also ready to accept the demand for  moving the patient to the unit despite there being “no necessity for it”. 

Saakashvili chaired the Executive Committee of the Ukrainian National Reforms Council before his arrest in Tbilisi. Photo: 1TV. 

The doctor also claimed medical personnel in the clinic had to work under “incredible pressure”, with “some people” related to Saakashvili “making threats” to them and their family members. He pledged to name the individuals responsible for the alleged threats and “hold them accountable” through involvement of state agencies. 

A trial hearing on granting Saakashvili release or postponement of the rest of his six-year-sentence for abuse of power on health grounds will resume on Wednesday in the latest session since its launch in December. 

In contrast to the claims by the entourage of the former official over the need of “proper treatment” abroad, authorities have accused Saakashvili of being “engaged in self-harm” to “artificially create an excuse for escaping justice”.

Saakashvili, who currently holds Ukrainian citizenship and held public positions in the country before his arrest in Tbilisi in October 2021, following his clandestine return, has also been charged with other offences dating back to his time in office in Georgia, with three cases pending in courts.