Trishkin’s snare. One military medic ruins all health resorts of Ministry of Defense
Dmitry Trishkin has been responsible for maintenance of health resorts belonging to the Ministry of Defense for five years already. During his rule, the departmental sanatoriums have fallen to complete desolation.
Voucher to corruption
Dmitry Trishkin is the Head of the General Military Medical Administration of the Ministry of Defense. His service performance is pretty far from perfection.
Trishkin supervises medical institutions of the Ministry of Defense, including sanatoriums, health resorts, and recreation bases. The functionary is in charge of the General Military Medical Administration for less then a year, but according to his official biography, the departmental medical institutions have been under his rule for five years already. The majority of health resorts are located in the southern part of Russia, and it might seem that the military servicemen are to be envied. The officers, however, think otherwise.
Dmitry Trishkin, Head of the General Military Medical Administration of the Ministry of Defense (on the left)
In order to vacate in a departmental sanatorium or health resort, military men have to overcome the bureaucracy. Several years ago, the Ministry of Defense started actively commercializing the resort sector. The agency has abolished the guaranteed voucher provision system used in the past and instead introduced a direct mail/online booking system. The first-come, first-served approach has quickly brought its results. Many retired officers are not skilled in online services, while their applications sent by regular mail are mysteriously not delivered to the recreation institutions. As a result, over 50% of reserve officers end up with nothing.
But the sanatoriums don’t stand empty. More advanced Internet users, including many civilians, occupy the military health resorts. In one of his interviews, Trishkin said that 150 thousand people belonging to privileged military personnel categories had recreated in the sanatoriums of the Ministry of Defense in 2015. Taking into account numerous complaints from retired officers, this number seems greatly exaggerated. Perhaps, it is not coincidental that during the exacerbation of relations between Russia and Turkey, Dmitry Trishkin had expected the popularity of health institutions under his rule to skyrocket. Or maybe the supervisor of military health resorts had seriously believed that the only people vacating in Turkey are retired officers?
Dmitry Trishkin believes that the service level in the sanatoriums and health resorts of the Ministry of Defense is as good as in Turkish hotels
In fact, those who had decided to vacate in departmental military resorts instead of going to Turkey were left in perplexity. There are plenty of unflattering posts about these health institutions on the internet. Not only do guests of Crimean sanatoriums transferred to the Ministry of Defense not long ago complain on having a poor time there – but guests of a military sanatorium in Solnechnogorsk of the Moscow region do so as well.
Negative client's feedback
Because Dmitry Trishkin has mentioned the competition with Turkey, let’s compare the prices in some military health resorts with Turkish hotels. The cheapest suit in Pirogov Military Clinical Sanatorium (one of the most popular institutions of the Ministry of Defense in Russia) costs slightly above 4 thousands rubles ($67.5) per day. A twin suite in Radisson Blu Resort (5 stars) in the Turkish town of Çeşme costs 1 thousand rubles ($16.9) less. To maintain the experimental integrity, it is possible to pick a hotel where not only breakfast is included, but buffet dinner as well. It is steal cheaper than in Russia – while the photos and references speak for themselves.
Pirogov Military Clinical Sanatorium
The rescue of vacationers...
Based on the past biography of Dmitry Trishkin, it might seem that the military medic is ill disposed towards any kinds of privileged personnel categories. The career of Trishkin was skyrocketing: at the age of 26, he became the Chief Physician of the City Clinical Hospital № 4 in Perm; at the age of 35 – the Minister of Healthcare of the Perm Krai. Unpleasant publications and references of Perm residents make in possible to conclude that they had valued Trishkin very low – both as a surgeon and manager. He is remembered only for questionable gynecological aid initiatives for low-income women. With such an unsavory reputation, Dmitry Trishkin has soon left the Perm healthcare system – but his name hasn’t fallen into oblivion.
Trishkin has got a promotion and took charge of the healthcare system in the much more important Moscow region. In one year, he managed to show himself off by frustrating the p rovision of medicines for privileged population categories. But the ‘unsinkable’ official continued his career in the healthcare: the Ministry of Defense has duly appreciated his ability to spoil everything and entrusted to him 50 departmental sanatoriums. Apparently, Trishkin has completely meet the expectations of supreme military functionaries.
Paradoxically, but the Ministry of Defense does not pinch pennies on its resort establishments. For instance, in 2013–2016, the agency has spent 570 million rubles ($9.6 million) on medical equipment acquisitions alone. The total ‘resort’ budget of the Ministry amounts to billions of rubles. These funds are spent in a pretty original way. For example, in 2015, the agency had planned to reconstruct a Reception House near Barvikha village. This Reception House was supposed to replace an unfinished Reception House in Arkhangelskoe Manor declared illegal by the court.
To make sure that the new recreation complex in on a par with the nearby elite village, the Ministry had spared no expense. In July 2015, the General Administration for Troop Accommodations of the Ministry of Defense had announced a tender to reconstruct the complex witih a starting price of 719 million rubles ($12.1 million). The sole bidder and winner was TMK-Stroy company that had never participated in governmental acquisitions in the past. A couple of weeks later, the parties have unexpectedly cancelled the contract – but the Ministry of Defense was still determined to have a recreation complex near Barvikha. The interior design of the Reception House had been developed by Tvorcheskie Masterskie (Art Studios) company long before the above-mentioned tender. Obviously, military functionaries have an eye for luxury recreation.
Reception House in Barvikha
On November 5, 2015, shortly after the cancellation of the initial reconstruction contract, the Ministry of Defense has posted another similar tender on the governmental acquisitions web site. This time, the General Administration for Troop Accommodations has cancelled the bidding even before the identification of its winner. The reason behind this decision remains unknown, but other tenders of the General Administration for Troop Accommodations clearly demonstrate the generosity of the Ministry of Defense. In the same year of 2015, the General Administration has conducted an entire series of tenders to reconstruct departmental health resorts. The most expensive among them were reconstruction projects for Sochi, Crimea, and Arkhangelskoe sanatoriums. The total cost of these three tenders was over 9 billion rubles ($151.9 million). The spending of the allocated budget funds is a separate issue. Apparently, Crimea and Sochi sanatoriums haven’t received the above-mentioned billions.
It must be admitted that Arkhangelskoe sanatorium looks amazing indeed – it might even outshine the manor of the same name. But it is highly unlikely that these luxury interiors have been created for recreation of retired military officers. Contractors of the General Administration for Troop Accommodations have slightly renovated for them other health resorts at considerably lower prices. For instance, Zolotoy Bereg (Golden Coast) sanatorium has been renovated for little more than 65 million rubles ($1.1 million). Those who have already vacated in Zolotoy Bereg would likely opt for the Turkish coast next year.