The deputy prime minister of Azerbaijan was treated in Israel for a heart problem last week after doctors in Baku determined his condition was life-threatening.
The Rambam Medical Center in Haifa announced on Monday that Abid Sharifov, who has served as deputy prime minister of Azerbaijan since 1995, arrived at a hospital in Azerbaijan’s capital of Baku last week after complaining of feeling weak.
After running tests, Azerbaijani doctors determined that Sharifov was suffering from a slow heart rate as a result of a problem with his heart’s electrical conduction system, which helps enable the heart’s contraction and blood flow.
As a result of the danger posed to his life, Sharifov was flown to Rambam Medical Center in Israel for treatment, where the hospital’s cardiology unit fitted him with a pacemaker and defibrillator to help manage his heart rate.
Sharifov was also treated by doctors at Rambam Medical Center for a clogged artery that was detected during the surgery.
According to the hospital, Sharifov’s treatment in Israel was arranged by Dr. Roman Barak of Horev Medical Center in Haifa, who in the past helped bring sick patients from the former Soviet Union to Israel for treatment.
In 2016, Barak presented an honorary doctorate to Azerbaijani first lady Mehriban Aliyeva, which was received on her behalf by Sharifov, according to the AZERTAC state news agency.
A secular state that has long had warm relations with Israel, the overwhelmingly Muslim Azerbaijan is one of Israel’s main trading partners, buying weapons systems and providing the Jewish state with the lion’s share of its oil.