Hospitals face unprecedented situation following resignation of medical staff over rise in coronavirus infections.
More and more doctors,
nurses and orderlies are threatening to resign, while many have already done
so. The fear of infection and the lack of adequate protective equipment are what
lie behind this unprecedented situation facing several hospitals around the country.
The Psychiatry and
Neurology Hospital in Brasov, the Romanian Railways Hospital in Timisoara and
the Emergency Hospital in Arad have seen a number of resignations among their
staff in recent days. Many said they wanted to retire and others, including doctors,
nurses, other hospital attendants as well as administrative staff, simply took
medical leave, making an extremely complicated situation even more difficult. To
cope with the rise in coronavirus patients, the Emergency Hospital in Arad is
now hiring staff on 6-month contracts.
While some in the
medical profession are abandoning the system because they are scared, there are
also those who want to stay on and help. This is the case of a number of nurses
and orderlies who had been laid off by the Psychiatry Institute in Socola, in
the north-east, due to budget cuts. They are saying they are prepared to work
and be reposted to wherever they are needed. Efforts are also being made to address
the situation in Suceava, in the north of the country, where hundreds of people
have become infected with the new coronavirus, including part of the staff at
the biggest hospital in the region, which is now seriously understaffed.
The Romanian president
Klaus Iohannis has assured people working in the healthcare sector that the
authorities are doing their best to provide the protective equipment they need
and appropriate working conditions:
"We know it's difficult,
but you are on the front line. We all look to you in hope and place our trust
in you. You are the last line of defence between the population and the
epidemic. I know it's not easy and we know that unfortunately, even more
difficult times lie ahead, but we trust in you, while we, the authorities and
politicians, will do all that is necessary to ensure you have the protective
equipment you need."
He also said the
authorities are targeting their efforts at caring for the most vulnerable people.
The experts say the health system is in need of more funding. Heath care
spending in Romania in 2017 was 5.2% of GDP, the lowest percentage among the
European Union countries and almost half the EU average. (Tr.: CM)