Coronavirus (641) Russian doctors face hostility, mistrust

21 May, 2020

Over recent years we have seen increasing violence and even murder of health workers (eg polio vaccine workers) due to myths, rumours and misinformation. While health workers in many countries are hugely valued for their critical role in the coronavirus crisis, there are examples in some countries where health workers feel abused and neglected, both by the people and the health systems that are meant to support them.

Extracts from a news item below. Full text here: https://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/expendable-russian-doctors-face-...

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MOSCOW -- There are no daily public displays of gratitude for Russian doctors and nurses during the coronavirus crisis like there are in the West. Instead of applause, they face mistrust, low pay and even open hostility.

Residents near the National Medical Research Center for Endocrinology, a Moscow hospital now treating virus patients, complained when they saw medical workers walking out of the building in full protective gear, fearing the workers would spread contagion...

The outbreak has put enormous pressure on Russia's medical community. While state media hails some of them as heroes, doctors and nurses interviewed by The Associated Press say they are fighting both the virus and a system that fails to support them.

They have decried shortages of protective equipment, and many say they have been threatened with dismissal or even prosecution for going public with their complaints. Some have quit and a few are suspected to have killed themselves...

“I handed in my notice," Vaskyanina said. “They're not letting me do my job. I love my job and I want to keep doing it, but I can't go on like this.”...

“Now we’re facing the threat of a complete destruction of the medical community,” said Semyon Galperin, head of the Doctors Defense League rights group.

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Best wishes, Neil

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HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - www.hifa.org ), a global community with 20,000 members in 180 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages in collaboration with WHO. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: facebook.com/HIFAdotORG neil@hifa.org