US Pediatric Surgeons Hope To Get Necessary Visas To Operate In Russia - Team Leader


US Pediatric Surgeons Hope to Get Necessary Visas to Operate in Russia - Team Leader

WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 05th May, 2022) A group of pediatric cardiologists of the US-based Cardiac Alliance stands ready to maintain its project to operate on patients in the Russian city of Kemerovo despite the current political tensions between the United States and Russia, but is concerned whether the surgeons can obtain the necessary Russian visas, Cardiac Alliance leader Bill Novick told Sputnik.

"For my part, I really don't have a problem going to Russia, that is really not the issue," Novick, who has conducted pediatric heart surgeries of different complexity in Russia over a decade, said.

However, Novick said there are many issues that need to be addressed before the trip to Russia, scheduled at the end of 2022, can commence.

Novick noted he has operated on children all over the world and often in countries affected by conflict like Libya, Iraq, Lebanon and voiced concern about the possibility of obtaining a Russian visa at present.

"Since my visa has expired, I have to re-apply for a visa. In the past, getting Russian visa was not a problem, but now - I do not know," he said.

Novick said the Cardiac Alliance team planned to visit Kemerovo earlier this spring, but the coresponding Russian colleagues had asked the team to postpone the trip due to the financial situation related to the conflict in Ukraine and the Western sanctions against Russia.

"I have not applied (for a visa) yet, because people in Kemerovo have not said 'yes, we want to have you here.' They said they hope we could come at the end of the year, but hope is not a pledge," Novick said.

The Cardiac Alliance has conducted some 500 surgeries in Russia since 2008. The group is comprised of medical specialists from different countries who usually work in "hot spots" around the world. Previously, the Cardiac Alliance performed surgeries in several Russian cities, including Voronezh and Nizhny Novgorod.