Critical situation in Ukraine: Doctors spend over 40 hours at work

Oleksandra Molchanov’s regular shift now lasts 42 hours – of which 24 hours will be spent in the hospital in the town of Kakhovka and another 18 hours visiting 120 makeshift beds, which were created in tents in front of the hospital for patients infected with covid-19. 87 out of 120 beds are occupied and more patients are added every day. However, Molčanov is one of only three doctors who take care of them.

“We are putting out the fire again, but our strength and capabilities are limited. We are working at the limit of our possibilities, “said Molčanov. After an exhausting shift, the 32-year-old doctor returns home to recover. The next one can be even more challenging, he writes AP agency.

“The situation is getting worse. Hospital beds are running low, the number of seriously ill patients is increasing and there is a painful shortage of medical staff, “added Molčanov.

Vaccination rate according to AP agency in Eastern Europe it generally lags behind, but in Ukraine it is one of the lowest. However, due to the underfunded health system, which is facing problems, the situation has become desperate almost two years after the virus began to spread.

The country records records of infections and deaths almost every day. The country last broke the sad record on Tuesday, when 838 deaths were reported.

According to the AP, the health care system inherited by the government of President Volodymyr Zelenský was undermined by the reforms of his predecessor, Petr Porošenko. At that time, many hospitals in small towns were closed. The citizens of these cities now have to seek care in big cities. If the patient has such a serious problem that he has to call an ambulance, he can wait for it for up to eight hours.

“They bring patients in extremely difficult condition. The main reason is the remoteness of the settlements and the inability to provide assistance in the early stages of the disease, “said Dr. Anatoly Galachenko, who also works in the tent hospital.

Former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who leads the opposition party in Batkivshchyna, said she had visited many Ukrainian hospitals and noted shortcomings. “The mortality rate on covid-19 that we are currently seeing in Ukraine is not just mortality. It is killing people by a government that does not have oxygen, antivirals, beds or normally paid medical staff. There are no more vacant beds in the country, a new patient immediately comes to the bed of the released person, “Tymoshenko said in the parliament.

There are four covid-19 vaccines available in Ukraine from Pfizer / BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Sinovac. Yet only 21 percent of the country’s 41 million people are fully vaccinated. According to data from the Ministry of Health, 96 percent of patients who end up in a hospital with a severe course of the disease have not been vaccinated.

Zelensky promised each fully vaccinated Ukrainian a payment of 1,000 hryvnia (840 CZK), which is about 5 percent of the average monthly wage. But even that did not start the vaccination campaign. Doctors say vaccines are highly effective in preventing deaths and hospitalizations, and are usually mild when vaccinated people become infected.

“People believe in the most absurd rumors about chips, infertility and the dangers of vaccines, and older people in high-risk groups are relying on vaccination, which is very harmful and increases the burden on hospitals. People trust their neighbors more than doctors, “said Molčanov.

Ukraine requires teachers, doctors and civil servants to be vaccinated by 1 December. It has also begun to require proof of vaccination or negative covid-19 test results for air, train and long-distance travel.

This created a black market in the country with fake vaccination documents, which are sold for 2,500 to 7,500 CZK. There is reportedly a fake government digital smartphone application in which people can install fake certificates.

Doctors say that fake certificates make their work difficult. “Covid cannot be fooled by a fake certificate, many Ukrainians will only find out in the intensive care unit. We work to the maximum, but we are tired of fighting not only diseases, but also stupidity, “said Molčanov.

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