Vecdi Erbay / DİYARBAKIR
Many healthcare workers have been negatively affected by the atmosphere amid COVID-19 outbreak and are losing their motivation to fight the virus, the Diyarbakır Medical Chamber warns.
Healthcare workers are on the front lines of the struggle against coronavirus. For their great sacrifice they have been applauded every evening at 9PM by many people in Turkey from their windows. However, in spite of the morale that came along with that gesture, healthcare workers have also brought to light the fact that the precautions against the virus are insufficient. There are not enough masks and gloves and this is a risk to their lives.
Some hotels have opened their doors to the healthcare workers and of course this is meaningful. In a global outbreak, solidarity is necessary. However, every country and every hotel manager doesn't see it this way, and we have witnessed how European Union countries are lacking in the solidarity department.
On the other hand, based on some claims that have emerged on social media, the solidarity in Turkey isn't as common as one might think. Some healthcare workers who want to stay at hotels in order to protect their families are not being allowed to do so.
When doctors say “applause isn't enough” they are not wrong. The healthcare workers that we applaud in the evening are rushing to work without the necessary protection ensured by the state. Doctors who voice their complaints are promptly forced to take their statements back by law enforcement. Again, to mistreat the people we applaud in the evening by being violent against them for whatever reason and to deny their entry into a guesthouse or hotel so they can protect their family is unjust.
According to Mehmet Şerif Demir, the chair of the Diyarbakır Medical Chamber, due to the above reasons, many healthcare workers have been negatively affected and are losing their motivation to fight the virus.
“As we have seen in the press, representatives of medical chambers, unions and other democratic organizations are having investigations opened against them due to the statements they have made for the purpose of informing the public. We are hearing that they are called to give their statements and are either threatened or pressured by their bosses or forced to apologize,” Demir said, adding that healthcare workers are also being exposed to violence in the workplace.
Demir said that student dorms have been allocated as places to stay for healthcare workers who want to keep a distance from their families, and that the government needs to ensure all of the needs of the healthcare workers.
Given that society is experiencing panic and is very nervous about the outbreak, Demir said that correctly informing the public about what is happening is critical:
“The Ministry of Health needs to conduct this process with transparency, and needs to quickly and comprehensively provide the public and the healthcare workers with the correct information,” Demir said.Turkey announces first case of a doctor dying from coronavirus