President Ivan Duque put himself on a crash course with Colombia’s health workers by ordering them to combat the coronavirus despite the absence of life-saving protection equipment.
By decree, Duque ordered doctors and nurses to work after medical personnel began resigning over the government’s failure to provide basic protection gear like masks and uniforms.
Without this basic protection, health workers would not just put their own lives at risk, but could accelerate the spread of the virus.
Duque’s latest dumbfounding decision followed the medical organization’s warnings that the doctors were considering mass resignations because of the government’s inability to provide the most basic of protection.
The first to reject the decree was the Coalition of Human Talent in Healthcare, a coalition of healthcare organizations, that wrote to Duque that “the country is not going to be served by a long list of dead health workers and no way to stop the pandemic.”
Health care workers are willing to do their duty and serve society, but no rule can force us into reckless acts and suicidal actions in the face of a pandemic that has already left thousands of human losses in the world, especially when you as president of the nation do not guarantee health care workers personal protection equipment. Many people from different professions have proposed mass resignations as a possibility for the State to recognize the seriousness of the pandemic and assume responsibility in the case and, despite their threats represented in decree 538 of 2020, we will continue to fight, because the government is violating the right to life of health workers.
Coalition of Human Talent in Healthcare
The country’s governors and mayors rebelled against Duque last month after the president illegally usurped their powers to issue decrees to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Duque this time faces a second rebellion, but of the country’s health workers, some of whom said on social media they refuse to be used as “cannon fodder.”