Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis says health workers who treat coronavirus patients will receive a monthly bonus of 500 euros after hundreds of medics were infected with the virus and others resigned or went on extended leave in recent days.
Iohannis held a video conference with Prime Minister Ludovic Orban and other key ministers on Thursday to discuss the latest developments as authorities battle to halt the spread of the virus which has killed 107 people and sickened more than 2,700 people.
The government is trying to improve conditions in hospitals for health workers after there were outbreaks at some facilities and reports that some doctors were refusing to treat COVID-19 patients.
„I have spoken to the government to find sufficient funds to pay a monthly bonus to medics and healthcare staff who are working with COVID-19 patients,” Iohannis said.
„We are talking about a consistent bonus of a few hundreds euros. I think 500 euros a month … would be an honorable bonus.” He said the money would come from European Union funds.
In the last three days, some 200 health workers said they were quitting for various reasons. Some 357 health workers have tested positive for the virus.
Some facilities say they lack protective equipment. There have also been cases of mismanagement and negligence with medics failing to report COVID-19 cases, or not respecting quarantine rules.
Military doctors were put in charge of a hospital in the northern city of Suceava on Thursday after managers were fired or resigned following a massive outbreak at the facility. Some 180 doctors tested positive for the virus and 30 patients died.
Iohannis sought to reassure medics and residents of the city of 100,000 which is currently under a strict lockdown.
He said that 5,000 hazmat suits and 20,000 surgical masks and gloves had been delivered to the hospital for doctors to treat patients with the virus.