Why are so many Serbian doctors dying of COVID-19?

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Serbia’s total death toll from coronavirus is relatively low, around 3,600, but its rate of fatalities in the medical profession is far higher than in other nations.Data from the Union of Doctors and Pharmacists (UDP) have revealed that as many as 72 doctors have died from coronavirus in Serbia, a country of seven million people, compared to 43 in the UK, which has a population of more than 60 million.Serbia has seen just 3,600 deaths in total compared to the UK’s more than 80,000.Critics blame the state of the country’s healthcare system, which has been massively underfunded since a 2013 hiring freeze on public sector workers, which includes doctors and nurses. When the coronavirus hit, the health sector was not ready.“Bad organisation, the fatigue of personnel, lack of the equipment: all of it contributed to a high number of deaths among doctors,” Rade Panic, the president of the UDP, told Euronews, adding that the death toll could be higher than the 72 they have counted.Another issue, Panic said, is that the senior positions in Serbian hospitals tend to be political appointments, meaning the loyalty of hospital managers to the country’s ruling elite is more important than their managerial abilities.'Our members ...read more...