Medical students have volunteered to work in Covid hospitals to help the healthcare personnel cope with the situation.
The pressure on healthcare systems is huge at present, all over the world. The insufficient staff and the level of exhaustion of the medical personnel in the context of the coronavirus pandemic have prompted the Bucharest Government to pass an emergency order that regulates volunteer work in medical units. The volunteer students will receive around 500 euros for at least 120 hours of activity in a month. According to the Government, the pressure on the healthcare system is not only caused by the big number of people who test positive to the virus. There is also a reduced capacity to assist patients due to a shortage in medical personnel, triggered by their exposure to and catching of the virus and the small number of specialist staff. According to the authorities, the main structures affected by insufficient staff are the ICUs, ERs, epidemiology, radiology, infectious diseases and pulmonary units.
Other institutions playing a role in the management of the medical crisis generated by the pandemic also face difficulties. Thus, following the adoption of the emergency order regulating volunteer work in medical units and emergency services, 6th year medical students can do volunteer work during the state of alert and 30 days after the state of alert is lifted. The first orders regarding the distribution of volunteer workers have been already signed. Almost 2000 medical students have signed up for volunteer work and one third of them has already been distributed to 25 hospitals in counties. More such orders will be signed in the upcoming days, in the context of a rising number of requests for additional staff in many localities.
The Public Health Administration in the north-eastern city of Iasi has already called on volunteers and NGOs to ensure the transport of the medical staff taking samples for Covid testing, to the people isolated at home. The number of requests for testing has increased almost five times in Iasi lately, and the ambulances can hardly cope with the situation. Against this background, the Bucharest Government gave assurances that efforts are being made to fight the pandemic and to mobilise the entire society so that we can overcome this difficult situation. (Translated by Elena Enache)