Government seeking over 500 to join healthcare task force

587Views 4Comments Posted 04/07/2020

The Panama Government is actively  looking for at least 500  frontline healthcare  professionals, including doctors, nurses, laboratory workers, technicians, cleaners and personnel to administer tests across the country, to face the growing  Covid-19 pandemic

Eyra Ruiz, Minister Counselor for Health and Technical Secretary of the Advisory Health Council, said Saturday that to date the Ministry of Health and the Social Security Fund have hired about 1,000 people and are still looking for  at least another 500, to integrate them into the system.

“We are going to hire more personnel to look for the contacts of those infected and make swabs in the communities. We also look for hospitals, as internists and intensivists, respiratory therapists, nurses and nursing technicians, ”Ruiz said

Domingo Moreno, a coordinator of the National Negotiating Commission, described the figure of 500 seats as “insufficient”, if it is taken into account that more than 1,000 new hospital beds will be enabled in the Amador, Atlapa and Figali convention centers.

The increase in cases of Covid-19 disease in recent weeks, the urgency to expand the installed capacity of beds and the depletion of health personnel, led the Government to make an urgent call for new appointments.

Health Minister, Luis Francisco Sucre, has already said that work is being done on the call and on the adaptation of various rooms in the network of public hospitals for the care of patients with the Covid- 19.

"We are not going to allow people to die for lack of personnel," he said

in the Figali and Amador convention centers, in Ancón, as well as in Atlanta, in San Francisco, the idea of ​​the Health authorities is to enable 1,156 beds: 160 in Figali, 200 in Atlapa and 796 in Amador.

The CSS will also enable another 100 beds in its Training and Recreation Center in Las Cumbres, and in this same district it will prepare another 90 beds in a hotel, which will have medical and nursing care.

Ruiz said that, since the pandemic began last March, they have hired 1,000 health professionals, but many more are needed to detect cases in the communities (swabs), and doctors and nurses to care for patients in hospitals.

"The Advisory Council made a proposal on the urgency of 200 more doctors and nurses, but with the other health personnel required, it would reach 500 in total, also including specialists, such as pulmonologists and respiratory therapists," he added.

Mild and moderate patients would arrive at the convention centers, while the most serious would be in hospitals.

“The strategy against Covid-19 involves three arms: the first is to maintain installed capacity in hospitals; Then there is the traceability of new cases in the communities, and also supply food to the neediest population” said Ruiz "

Ruiz sent a message to the citizens: we are in an advanced phase of the pandemic, where all efforts are made to block transmission, but the population must cooperate. The government is doing its job, but people must do their part.

Comments 4


A tale of two cities (or should I say, two countries) — Sweden and Panama. The first didn’t lockdown, didn’t destroy an economy. Their C-19 cases rose sharply, deaths greatly occurred in nursing homes (big surprise); their hospitals were not overwhelmed and TODAY, their efforts of creating a sizeable herd immunity has paid off and deaths are plummeting. In contrast, we are in extreme lockdown, mandatory masks, social distancing and with a tanking economy (not to mention a society under extreme medical and psychological distress) AND the death rate is skyrocketing. When the normal annual flu arrives, do we massive test to see who had the flu? Do we lock the healthy in their homes? Do we destroy an economy that will take decades to recover from? I think not. Mass testing (considering the negative results )is, IMO, a waste of time, resources, and a futile effort (forget that it’s flawed). The virus will outsmart human efforts so maybe letting healthy people out and about (to follow Sweden’s example) — aka developing herd immunity — maybe isn’t such a bizarre alternative. Trace test for those with OBVIOUS C-19 symptoms, mask wearing optional, lockdowns eliminated except to quarantine those with symptoms, and get on with life. Admit you’re only human and never powerful enough to defeat what Nature (or Higher Power) decides to do to us humans. Accept that there has NEVER been a vaccine proven effective for RNA viruses, that this virus will impart immunity as a long-term option ONLY if naturally acquired and that it is likely to go out on its own and return when it decides to do so, in one strain or another — just like the common flu. Get over yourself, protect the vulnerable, and give people back their lives. If they want to be fools and take risks — controlling them is not a long-term option and will never achieve goal.

3 months ago

Lat week Panama runs a national headline that healthcare workers are dying, in the ICU fighting for their life or exhausted from 12 hours shifts 7 days a week for months on end. Then this week they put out a call for more healthcare workers and are shocked that no one responds. Really low IQ people running the show! They should have prefaced this call for more help with tv ads celebrating the healthcare workers as heroes and saying that they all would be getting a $5000 bonus for their troubles.

3 months ago
Oh ya

Well thats what happens when you close certain professionals to everyone except natural born citizens. Panama has many protected professions and this just proves that too is another stupid policy. Everything in the world needs new blood and ideas to make it grow.

3 months ago

It is very unfortunate that not only has Covid-19 scared the living hell out of people that understand how deadly viruses work, and that Panama just does not have 500 people in the hiring categories that are willing to get that close to sick patients. Nowhere did I read if the government was offering an incentive to help draw out these needed workers. Every country in the region, to include the US, are experiencing the very same problem of exposed and sick people, over-running the care and the facilities. My suggestion to them is since there is no more military there, and cops are needed on the streets, use the pool of thousands of other government worker, whether they be furloughed, or still working, and train them up in all of the non-specialized duties such as traveling testers, nurses assistants, janitors, and administrative. Under these emergency conditions, either they report for duty, or they lose their governments jobs. Remember, with the Covid-19 virus, everything has changed, and nothing will be the same.

3 months ago
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