Baseline healthcare center actively supports the prevention of COVID-19 pandemic. Photo: THU HIEN
It was unprecedented
"The Upstream Warriors". That's how Dr. Nguyen Thi Huong (National Academy of Public Administration) described the silent sacrifices of white-coat warriors when going into a dangerous place, where others were trying to escape to protect themselves in COVID-19 pandemic.
As the COVID-19 pandemic raged, the entire health sector gathered forces to prevent and control an unprecedented pandemic, especially during the 4th outbreak with this Delta variant. In a recent study by the Institute for Health Policy and Strategy Research - the Ministry of Health, nearly 90% of health workers said they were under huge work pressure.
Doctor Mai Huu Thien Bon (Head of Phu My Medical Station, Phu Vang, Thua Thien Hue Province) said that for more than a month, all of them had to be on duty at the station 100%. There were days when carrying out the investigation, hectically gathering sampling, he was so tired that he could not hold his lunch box up but put it down; he could not eat and had to drink water instead.
"It's a mission, even if it's hard; we have to try our best. But sometimes it felt a little heartbroken to think about it. The pandemic situation was complicated, the police and the health care staff cooperated in tracing and investigating the epidemiology, day and night, but some families reacted violently and threaten to beat us," Dr. Bon shared.
Lang Co town (Phu Loc district) is one of the localities that continuously had new F0 cases during the day. At the present time, out of 7 employees of the healthcare station, there are also 3 cases of F0 being isolated and treated.
With 4 people remaining, the station is still in charge of a huge amount of work, including: tracing, sampling, administering vaccines, holding medical staff post at 3 checkpoints in the area... And in the coming time, there will be more follow-up work, monitoring and supporting asymptomatic F0 at home as this measure is applied locally to cope with the pandemic situation.
Dr. Pham Van Loi, Head of Lang Co Medical Station shared: “The work pressure is too much, but for the sake of the mission, for the responsibility in pandemic prevention and control for our community, all of us have made great efforts. No matter how difficult it is, we can endure it, but the biggest concern is that the risk of infection is too high, not knowing when we will become F0."
“Hoping that everyone keeps working hard”
Inside the hot spots, the image of medical staff in tight protective gown, working in spite of the intense heat or the high floodwaters above their feet... has become familiar. In that working environment, they not only have to bear a lot of pressure but are also at the highest risk of infection.
In particular, with the baseline medical workforce, their workload is increasing more and more when, in the near future, they are also the core members of mobile medical teams.
Talking about the most desirable things, Dr. Pham Van Loi said: “There are many needs, but there are only two issues that are most wanted at this time. That is, the authorities are more concerned about medical supplies for the facility, in order to minimize the risk of infection; and, simultaneously, there would be more attention to the medical staff’s benefits according to the regulations of the Government.”
“Recently, we have received a part of the pandemic prevention and control allowance, but we only had it until June 2021. Since then, we have not received anything, so I hope that the authorities will create more favorable conditions so that we would feel more secure carrying out our mission," Dr. Loi said.
Dr. Mai Huu Thien Bon also added: “First and foremost, we have not seen any special treatment for health workers at the commune and district levels. For a long time, all medical staff at the commune medical station have still participated in pandemic prevention and control in accordance with the responsibilities and duties of the healthcare profession, regardless of holiday or weekend. But every month, in addition to our salary, we only have an additional support of 130,000 VND/7 people/day. Sometimes the work is too difficult and tiring, but we all encourage each other to try to complete the work first, considering the benefits later. However, if there is any additional support to encourage the medical team, it would be better."
Understanding the hardships of medical staff, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Tran Kiem Hao, Director of the Department of Health said: “We know that the pressure of baseline medical staff is very heavy and the specific workload per person is excessive. Provincial leaders also always encourage, share and put a lot of faith in the forces of the health sector. We hope each medical officer and staff will continue to make efforts and do their best to overcome this difficult time.”
At the regular Government meeting in August 2021, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh directed to include in the meeting's resolution assigning the Ministry of Health to chair and together with related ministries and branches to continue to pay more attention to mental and physical health, and propose policies for frontline forces against the pandemic, especially the team of doctors, nurses and medical staff who are working hard days and nights to serve the people.
By DONG VAN