Undoubtedly, health workers a cross the globe are in serious danger as the are prone to contracting the corona virus pandemic, however, the public has also showered them appreciation. In Russia, health workers say they face fear, mistrust — and even open hostility.
Alexandra Arkhipova, a social anthropologist in Moscow, said, “[Russian] people don’t believe in state medicine, they only believe in doctors they know personally,” Arkhipova told CNN, referring to Russia’s public healthcare system.
Recall that late March, asvideo which was shared by Tatyana Revva, an intensive care specialist in the central district hospital of the city of Kalach-on-Don in southern Russia went viral. The video was about the shortage of medical equipment used to combat COVID-19.
Another Russian Medical practitioner, by the name of Stella Korchinskaya, an x-ray specialist at Reutov Central City Clinical Hospital in the Moscow region, said she was told by hospital officials they were just treating patients with pneumonia and was given practically no means of protection at her hospital. She says she has now tested positive for the coronavirus herself.
While talking to CNN respondents, she said “When the epidemic started, we had practically no means of protection, we did not have respirators, we did not have basic PPE,” Korchinskaya told CNN from her bed. “We had to protect ourselves how we could. I bought respirators via the Internet, I bought glasses in a hardware store, before they closed them during lockdown, with my own money.”
In an interview posted to the hospital’s Instagram account, director, Garik Khachatryan denied there were shortages of PPE.
Korchinskaya appealed to the Doctors Alliance for additional equipment, which responded by sending several boxes of PPE. This, she said, didn’t go down well with the hospital administrators.
Official reports from the Russian government claims that just over a hundred medical practitioners have died so far from the pandemic, but the health workers claim about 300 of their colleagues have lost their lives to it while the state media records that thousands of health workers are infected.