That was the message from the Sanitas health Federation on Wednesday to anti-restrictions protesters who have railed against new measures to limit the spread of the virus.
Some demonstrators have gone even further, marching to hospitals and calling healthcare professionals “killers.”
Around the world, healthcare professionals are on the frontline of the pandemic and are among the most exposed to the virus. Many are under strain from dealing with critical cases of a highly contagious virus.
Romania’s health trade union used the occasion of World Health Day which is celebrated every year on April 7 to draw attention to the pressures that health professionals face.
“We appeal to those who, just a few days back, shouted: „Down with doctors!”. If you have the slightest decency, please try and understand that without these people, many of us would not enjoy good HEALTH.”
“In the last year we have been called ‘incompetent,’ ‘bribe takers’…. and more recently ‘killers.”
Romania spends less of its GDP on health than other countries in the European Union. Medics’ salaries, extremely low until four years ago, were significantly hiked in an effort to stop bribes and unofficial payments.
However, envelopes stuffed with banknotes and other kickbacks are still common in hospitals, according to reports.
The message continued: “To those who find it easier to accept conspiracy theories than to understand that living in society comes with rights and responsibilities, we say this: ENOUGH!” the sternly worded statement said.
The union added while protesters had the right to express their views publicly, “it is also our right, those who fight the disease, helplessness and death every day, to ask you to let us do our job!”
The statement also thanked health workers who work in Romania’s underfunded health system.
„There are not enough words to truly express our respect and appreciation for medical teams, especially at a time when a … virus has put the entire planet on standby.”
“These people are the first – and sometimes the only – shield between the disease and the rest of us.”
World Health Day
World Health Day is a global health awareness day which is celebrated under the sponsorship of the World Health Organization, and other related organizations.
The message ended by saying that if any of the protesters or their families needed treatment they would be treated “with the same care” as other patients.
Thousands of Romanians have taken to the streets in cities across the country last week. Demonstrators have railed against pandemic restrictions and more recently against doctors.
Some say they don’t believe in the existence of the virus. Many are anti-vaxxers.