Dozens of doctors and nurses resigned in two hospitals in Bulgaria’s capital, Sofia, after they were told that they
would have to treat COVID-19 patients.
Medical workers said they had not been provided with protective equipment and proper care facilities, just days after the Bulgarian Parliament imposed a state of emergency in the country, Dr. Kameliya Bachovska from the Second City Hospital in Sofia told Al Jazeera that she and 84 other colleagues had resigned after they had been informed that their hospital would be converted to take care of them.
“The hospital doesn’t have enough protective equipment, and it’s not just our hospital that doesn’t. The rest also don’t. That’s, almost every doctor in
Bulgaria is at risk of getting sick because of this, particularly among us, the older doctors who fall into the category of high-risk,” she said.
Dr. Bachovska clarified that the hospital lacks the requisite sanitation and equipment to contain an infectious disease. She also said that the majority of physicians and nurses in the health care facility are close
to retirement age or are already working while in retirement, and fear to treat patients without being properly protected.
According to Dr. Andrei Kotsev, a member of the independent Zashtita syndicate who was in touch with the workers, apart from no protective equipment, they were also not given proper instruction on procedures to ensure isolation and other patients ‘ safety.
“We just got a box of protective gowns after we
took the media to the hospital,” Al Jazeera told him. Dr. Angel Kunchev, Head Inspector at the Ministry of Health, said the necessary supplies were given to all hospitals ordered to handle COVID19 patients.
He dismissed the criticism in a phone interview that the authorities had taken action too late against the spread of the virus.