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The BBC's Caroline Wyatt in Moscow
"The pay can sometimes stink"
 real 28k

Tuesday, 15 May, 2001, 12:59 GMT 13:59 UK
Doctors turn up noses at dung pay
rouble notes
Roubles: What the doctor ordered
Doctors at a provincial Russian hospital are objecting to being paid in manure instead of money.


It is a disgrace for Russia when doctors are paid in manure

Surgeon Yuri Zotov
Staff at the hospital in the town of Vacha, in the Volga region, are used to being paid late and receiving goods instead of cash, but say manure is the last straw.

"It is a disgrace for Russia when doctors are paid in manure," said Yuri Zotov, a surgeon, in a report on Moscow's Center TV.

"I am a surgeon but I also breed livestock - pigs and calves. I have a lot of manure, what I need is money."

Vegetable plots

The hospital staff earn between 262 roubles ($9) and 1,000 roubles ($35) a month.


We are agricultural workers as well as doctors - everybody has a plot of land

Laboratory head Valentina Yashina
Three tonnes of manure is reckoned to be the equivalent of 500 roubles.

Of the 400 hospital employees, only two have asked for it to be delivered to their vegetable plots.

"We are agricultural workers as well as doctors. Everybody has a plot of land," said laboratory head Valentina Yashina.

"Potatoes won't grow without manure."

Muck v brass


Everyone is looking for manure

Alexander Abrosimov
Previously salaries at the hospital have been paid in tinned meat, butter or sugar.

The mayor of Vacha, Alexander Abrosimov, quoted in the English-language Moscow Times, admitted that the associations were not pleasant, but said manure was a highly sought-after commodity.

He said the local authority had received the manure from collective farms in return for fuel for their tractors.

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