Following the deaths of two doctors from coronavirus in Chaco and La Rioja on Tuesday, the Association of Municipal Doctors (AMM, in its Spanish acronym) held an urgent meeting the following day with Buenos Aires City Health Minister Fernán Quirós to demand basic protective equipment and that safety protocols to be adjusted daily.
AMM secretary-general Ricardo Solari described a worrying situation for health workers to Perfil.
“We in AMM are trying to contain the health team, who are logically scared although bravely showing up for work. This situation can be controlled if people feel basically protected and if the directives are clear and arrive in time,” he said.
“Furthermore, we are noting a slow response to some of the things we are requesting from the Health Ministry. We understand that the context is very dynamic, overtaking reality, but we cannot allow that reality to get on top of us. We have to have a healthy health team which can respond to the virus.”
Another grey area confronting health workers in this pandemic is insurance coverage – their ART scheme does not contemplate a disease like Covid-19. The Superintendency of Work Risks admits the problem but warns that insurance companies should extend insurance all the same.
"That’s a problem between ART and the employer, not the worker, but somebody’s going to have to take it on. We require that all doctors in these cities be covered in this pandemic," Solari highlighted.
Finally, he referred to the economic incentive (an extra 30,000 pesos) launched by the national government to reward the doctors and nurses showing up to work against coronavirus.
"Even if it is a national measure and we’re in the City, showing up for work does not seem to us something to reward. Our incentive is saving lives in this context."