Two Utah physicians' on-again, off-again trip to the USSR is officially off. Their visas were denied by Soviet officials.
Kidney dialysis specialists Drs. Martin C. Gregory and Carl Kablitz had expected to spend Christmas in Armenia providing medical assistance to earthquake victims.The doctors, a hemodialysis technician and a nurse from the U.'s Division of Nephrology and Hypertension in the Department of Internal Medicine, were notified Thursday, only hours before they were to depart, that their help will not be needed.
On Wednesday, the four-member team was packing eight wearable artificial kidneys for transport abroad. Their assistance had been enlisted by the Armenian Health Minister Ermin Gabriellian.
But Gregory was informed Thursday afternoon by Armenian Catholic Exarchate officials, who were coordinating travel arrangements with the Soviet airline Aeroflot, that the USSR has enough physicians in the relief effort and that the Utahns' visas weren't approved.
"Disappointment" best describes the doctor's reaction to the news.