Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Friday made a phone call to a whistleblower cardiologist and told him not to worry about revealing the real situation at a hospital Putin visited in November.
Ivan Khrenov, who works at a hospital in the Ivanovo Region, phoned Putin during the prime minister's annual live question-and-answer call-in on Thursday. He said that when Putin had visited the hospital, regional officials made believe everything was in order, which was not true.
In particular, Khrenov said equipment from other medical institutions was brought to the hospital before Putin's visit and nurses were told to say their wages were higher than in reality.
Regional authorities denied any whitewash and said Khrenov was lying. However, local bloggers stood up for him and said regional officials were trying to evade responsibility for the real state of affairs at the hospital.
"Putin said they will not leave me in trouble," Khrenov told RIA Novosti. Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed that the prime minister made the call.
IVANOVO/MOSCOW, December 17 (RIA Novosti)