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Russian hospital red-faced after PHOTOS of makeshift bed made of board on chairs sparks online fury

Russian hospital red-faced after PHOTOS of makeshift bed made of board on chairs sparks online fury
Photos of a makeshift hospital bed in Russia has triggered outrage on social media. Management of the healthcare facility where the pictures were taken said it was a stop-gap measure in response to a sudden increase in admissions.

The controversial photos were taken in a local hospital in the small southern Russian city of Kuznetsk, and were published by a local online community. The ‘bed’ consists of little more than a few planks of wood nailed together on top of four chairs.

The images were met with understandable indignation from residents and quickly vent viral. Commenters said it was a symptom of officials’ failure to keep the national health system in good shape.

“This is what happens when you downsize rooms and beds. Call the ministry,” one comment said.

Others tried to find a reasonable explanation for the photos, such as suggesting that a patient must have needed a hard surface to lie on due to a back injury. But hospital management said the photos were a testament to the force majeure that they have had to deal with in recent days.

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“The hospital’s therapy ward had to accept 61 patients for necessary treatment between January 6 and 13. As of January 14, there were 77 patients and only 60 beds,” the hospital said in a statement, adding that as patients recover and leave the facility, the need for makeshift beds would diminish.

Healthcare reform is a constant headache for the Russian Health Ministry, which seeks ways to provide constitution-mandated free services to the public with the limited resources at its disposal. Attempts to introduce efficiencies and reduce red tape occasionally lead to scandals, when smaller or isolated communities are left without proper medical help.

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