ZAGREB, October 30, 2020 – Doctors and nurses at Zagreb’s KB Dubrava hospital held a protest rally on Friday because the hospital would be fully converted into an institution for the treatment of COVID positive patients.
Ivana Suton, the representative of the Nurses’ Union at the hospital, said that the protest was not organised by any of the unions but by staff gathering spontaneously to express their discontent over the difficult situation considering the large influx of patients and the shortage of staff.
The protesters were also addressed by Silvio Basic, the new chairman of the hospital’s management board and state secretary at the Ministry of Health. He said later that the protesters had drawn his attention to the problems troubling them, such as care for their own health and the health of patients, and the lack of information.
Basic said that all 80 or so patients not suffering from COVID would be transferred to other hospitals across the city so that KB Dubrava could become a COVID hospital when necessary, which would depend on the number of new cases.
Responding to a reporter’s remark that this was precisely why the staff were protesting, because they did not want the hospital to become a COVID institution, Basic said he sympathised with them. “We are seeing this disease for the first time, no one is trained to treat it and, of course, people are scared. But we must be aware as medical workers that we have taken on this risk.”
Basic said that efforts were being made to ensure the sufficient number of staff. “Five anaesthesiologists have arrived today, and four more pulmonologists are coming in the afternoon. More nurses are also coming. This is a dynamic process,” he said, adding that the hospital had enough ventilators.