Kazakhstan Healthcare Minister Salidat Kairbekova. Photo courtesy of press-service of Kazakhstan Healthcare Ministry
Kazakhstan Healthcare Minister Salidat Kairbekova has waived away the possibility of being blackmailed by the former U.S. Ambassador to Kazakhstan Richard Hoagland, Tengrinews.kz reports.
During a trip to Akmola oblast the Minister was asked by a Tengrinews.kz journalist: “There was a report that American ambassador allegedly blackmailed you in his letter urging you to continue the opioid substitution therapy program in Kazakhstan. Were you blackmailed?”
“Kazakhstan is an independent and respected country. How do you imagine a blackmailing of Kazakhstan Minister by an American ambassador? Especially the minister who is responsible for one of the delicate social sectors? What a word!” Kairbekova said.
During the trip to Akmola oblast the Minister visited several medical facilities: a medical rescue facility that render medical aid to victims of car accidents, oncological dispensary, perinatal center and Kokshetau city clinic.
Earlier Tengrinews.kz reported that former U.S. Ambassador to Kazakhstan Richard Hoagland had sent a letter to Kazakhstan Healthcare Minister Salidat Kairbekova. Commenting the letter years later, President of the National Medical Association Aizhan Sadykova said that the United States were pushing Kazakhstan to continue the methadone program.
The U.S. embassy later commented that methadone was not mentioned in the letter of the former U.S. Ambassador to Kazakhstan Richard Hoagland to Kazakhstan Healthcare Minister Salidat Kairbekova and denied the blackmailing the Minister.