RIGA, Latvia, 29-Dec-2020 — /EPR HEALTHCARE NEWS/ — German Charite Medical Center once again is in the limelight of international attention: on December 17 the popular mayor of Kharkov (Ukraine), Gennady Kernes, passed away at the well known hospital after a 3 months struggle with Covid-19.
Kernes got diagnosed 2 days after he was officially elected the Mayor of Kharkiv by 60,34% of voters. The politician was expected to recover and get back to his duties, yet his health condition was rapidly getting worse. In 2014 Kernes was attacked during an assassination attempt and since then had to be moving around in a wheelchair.
Founded in the early 18th century, the Charité Medical Center is considered one of the best in Germany. However, the clinic’s excellent reputation was affected by its repeated involvement in political scandals, that have turned Berlin’s oldest hospital into a kind of an expert center causing major cleavages that increase tensions between those in power and those in the opposition in Eastern Europe. Among the recent cases, that was the high-profile case of Navalny, whom the Charité doctors diagnosed with Novichok poisoning, and in 2013, German doctors provided an equally fatal diagnosis for Ukraine’s ex-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who was then in prison. However, following her release from jail and a weeklong treatment, Tymoshenko fully recovered. In 2018, experts at Charité announced that Pyotr Verzilov, a Russian opposition activist with quite limited support and recognition rating, was poisoned with an unknown substance. Earlier, in 2004, doctors at Charité repeatedly changed the diagnosis of Victor Yushchenko, then the frontrunner in the presidential race in Ukraine. Active involvement into political issues and related statements make the clinic’s reputation highly controversial.
As a result, a number of Russian and Ukrainian media outlets now say that Gennady Kernes, who maintained close contacts with Moscow, could have been intentionally mistreated, adding suspicion to his sudden death. The cases of Yushenko, Navalny, Timoshenko, Verzilov, Kernes and other ones that are actively used at the political and geopolitical arena, make more and more experts and civil activists demand transparency and information disclosure, including medical history, regarding the patients whose health and diagnosis can affect the lives of millions.