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How Wealthy Russians Prepared for a Pandemic
April 7, 2020 20:20


Wealthy Russians organize improvised "hospitals" at home and buy ventilation devices worth more than $ 25,000, The Wall Street Journal writes. In an attempt to protect themselves from the disease, they circumvented wealthy Americans,  limited to personal doctors and self-isolation in Hawaii.

Wealthy Russians, deprived of the opportunity to go for treatment abroad, organize their own temporary "hospitals" right in the apartment or office,  The Wall Street Journal writes with reference to doctors and suppliers of medical products. The newspaper emphasizes that super-rich around the world are finding ways to survive the pandemic “with greater comfort” than the rest.

“For many years, the rich here [in Russia] thought that they had a special ticket for a quick access to medical care. But now they can’t leave the country, and it doesn’t matter whether you are rich or poor,” Alexei Kashcheev, a neurosurgeon from Moscow, told the newspaper. The doctor noted that a Russian company had recently contacted him, asking for advice on organizing a private “intensive care room”. Kashcheev refused “for ethical reasons”. Many of his colleagues have received similar offers, WSJ

For their "personal clinics", wealthy Russians also buy mechanical ventilation devices for prices above $ 25,000, WSJ said. The Russian manufacturer of medical equipment, Triton-ElectronicsS, informed the newspaper that private individuals account for 7% of the total demand for its ventilators. Triton-ElectronicsS also indicated that it had sold all its stocks and would resume deliveries only in October.

The fact that wealthy Russians organize impromptu hospitals and massively buy ventilators, The Moscow Times wrote in March, citing sources.  Most of the sellers surveyed also told  that private buyers accounted for about 30% of their sales.

At the same time, creating your own “hospital" or buying a ventilator is not a panacea, WSJ interlocutors from the medical sector said. Installation of such devices and their maintenance is a difficult task. "This is silly. A ventilator is not an iPhone or a TV,” Kashcheyev commented to the newspaper. The owner of the Medsi clinic network, Vladimir Yevtushenkov, spoke about this problem to Forbes, and called such purchases “idiocy”. “These devices cannot be used without medical assistance: there will be a burn of the lungs, and everything will end much faster than one might have expected,” he emphasized.

In Russia, wealthy people go "one step further" than wealthy US residents, WSJ notes. However, even abroad, many spend significant funds on protection against the disease. In particular, wealthy Americans use the services of personal doctors to instantly receive advice and quickly pass testing.

Former White House doctor Connie Mariano used to monitor the health of George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, and now provides a personal doctor servicesw  for $ 15,000 a year. She told WSJ that she has recently received “about 100 emails a day” from customers — twice as much as usual. Mariano has more than 320 clients, and these are mainly current and former company executives from around the world. All of them can call her 24 hours a day.

“Many are so grateful for the opportunity to contact me in the middle of the night. This greatly helps them experience less anxiety. If any of them needs to go to the hospital, we find a way to make sure that they get there,” the doctor said.

Self-isolation in Hawaii

Testing for coronavirus for the rich is also easier. Lisa Benya, Medical Director at CURE Daily Malibu, told WSJ that one of her clients had been tested after she just heard his cough on the phone. The businessman is already over 70 years old, and his test for coronavirus gave a positive result. He canceled his trips and immediately went to self-isolation with his wife, also an elderly woman.

Celebrities, athletes, and senior executives are mostly members of CURE, WSJ points out. They either pay $ 1,000 per month and pay extra for additional services, or immediately pay $ 10,000 for a package that includes unlimited consultations and access to spa treatments. CURE has its own laboratories conducting tests for coronavirus. Benya notes that interest from promising new CURE members has doubled in recent weeks.

Even self-isolation does not necessarily become unpleasant for the rich, WSJ emphasizes. Rental services in the Caribbean, Hawaii and the Mediterranean have recently been in high demand, Penny Mosgrove, general manager of real estate in Britain, Quintessentially Estates, told to the newspaper. The company's services are used by celebrities, entrepreneurs and financiers.



Author: Anna Dorozhkina

Tags: coronavirus Russian oligarchs    

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