Health worker says pandemic is out of control in Turkey

A health worker working at a hospital in Turkey's western city of İzmir reached solidarity network "We Breathe Down the Bosses’ Neck" (PE), sharing their experiences during the pandemic that is out of control.
Tuesday, 24 November 2020 11:08

Talking to Turkey's labour-solidarity network PE, a health worker from Turkey's western metropolitan city of İzmir said that the coronavirus pandemic, which started in March, was progressing most hardly, adding that everyone started to believe a greater disaster was at the door, they were at the stage of going crazy, and the fight against the pandemic was only expected from the public and healthcare workers.

"It has become impossible to find a place in intensive care"

“In this period, in the eyes of the world and the public, false data are presented. They are making fun of the intelligence of the people considering their claim that around 100 deaths are witnessed in a day throughout the country while there are at least ten deaths per day in our hospital alone" the health worker said, referring to the official data of the health ministry.

"It has become impossible to find a place in intensive care units. There was no room left even on the stretchers. If the patients who come to the emergency department are lucky, they can find a place in the chairs. A citizen came with 112 (emergency number), since they could not find a place, his relative brought the portable chair in the trunk of his car and waited for his examinations and tests like that," the health worker said.

"If the patient is lucky, the patient can receive oxygen"

Stating that they are against insufficient measures for the pandemic, the health worker emphasized that the inadequacy of hospitals, as well as the inadequacy of staff and healthcare workers, increased the risk of the spread and death of the disease. “The vital measurements of the patients can be taken after hours, and treatments are very delayed. Many patients, although they are supposed to be in the hospital, can wait with a chair in the middle of the CBRN area (if lucky) and receive oxygen if an oxygen tube is found.

"Incidents of violence and assault increased"

The health worker said that they expected the violent incidents would increase with the pandemic. “We were saying that this is a known thing, we were already expecting that the violence would increase, it was too much. Even worse, the healthcare professionals and security guards started fighting each other until they got to the fist. It is only a matter of time before the situation gets worse while it is as scary as a zombie story we are living in."

"Healthcare workers can only rest in the car during one-hour breaks"

Indicating that no workplace measures have been taken regarding the isolation of healthcare workers among themselves, he said, “Some healthcare workers have vehicles, they go and rest in their cars if they have a gap of 1 hour. But what should those who do not do on this cold winter day?"

"Covid-19 and non-Covid-19 patients are treated at the same place"

Although it is known that patients with and without Covid-19 are checked together in many hospitals and the services are full, the health worker stated that the situation is similar in his own hospital. “Moreover, disregarding the social distance, the patients and their relatives are at the bottom. In addition, we are forced to take care of patients with Covid together with patients who do not have Covid in the green area. In this way, patients who do not have Covid and come to treatment for another reason can easily catch the virus."

"Give us protective equipment and a mask instead of consolation'

The healt worker said that personal protective equipment is insufficient, “Give us a proper N95 surgical mask instead of giving us consolation. We can only buy 2 N95s a day. But a physician sometimes performs 8 intubations and the nurses next to him also assist in this special procedure. PPE must be changed after each intubation. However, materials are also seriously troublesome. Moreover, the quality of the supplied materials is very low."

Stating that since the beginning of the pandemic, there has been no more than saying "your help is priceless" to health workers, and the public has not been offered sufficient number of tests, the health worker said, "When it comes to their lives, they enjoy dozens of palaces, dozens of private planes, thousands of luxury vehicles, double salaries. When it comes to the public, however, limited number of tests.