The deputy chief physician of the Russian hospital where opposition leader Alexey Navalny was treated immediately after his poisoning has died, according to a statement published by the hospital on Thursday.
Sergey Maximishin, who was the deputy chief physician of the Omsk emergency hospital, died at the age of 55, according to the hospital.
“With regret, we inform you that…the deputy chief physician for anesthesiology and resuscitation of the emergency hospital №1, assistant of the department of Omsk State Medical University, PhD of medical sciences Maksimishin Sergey Valentinovich suddenly passed away,” the hospital said in a statement, which did not mention a cause of death.
Navalny was initially admitted to the acute poisoning unit of Omsk emergency hospital No. 1 on August 20, after falling ill on a plane heading to Moscow. The place made an emergency landing in Omsk.
Maximishin did not give any press briefings at the time of Navalny’s hospitalization. As the hospital’s deputy chief physician for anesthesiology and resuscitation, he was one of the most senior doctors at the hospital.
Leonid Volkov, Navalny’s chief of staff, confirmed Maximishin was in charge of treating the opposition leader.
“Sergey Maximishin was the head of department that treated Alexey Navalny and was in charge of his treatment — specifically his medically induced coma,” Volkov told CNN.
“He knew more than anyone else about Alexey’s condition so I can’t dismiss possibility of foul play,” he added.
“However Russia’s health care system is very poor and it’s not uncommon for doctors of his age to suddenly die. I doubt there will any investigation into his death,” Volkov continued.
CNN is seeking additional comment from local health authorities into the cause of Maximishin’s death. CNN has no evidence that any foul play was involved.
The Minister of Health of the Omsk region said in statement that Maximishin worked at the hospital for 28 years and saved thousands of human lives.
“He brought people back to full reality. We will miss Dr. Maximishin very much. He left too early and because of this the pain of loss is especially bitter,” said Alexander Murakhovsky said in a statement.