Coronavirus will likely cause medical practices and hospitals to become overcrowded and so the state government and the chamber of doctors in Rhineland-Palatinate are seeking help from retired physicians. The Ministry of Health in Mainz confirmed that they have already contacted 1300 doctors up to the age of 75. So far, the answers have been positive.
“We hope that doctors will support us in the event of a crisis,” said Minister Sabine Bätzing-Lichtenthäler (SPD). Even in 2015 when there was a refugee crisis in 2015, the country wrote to doctors to provide immigrants from war zones with faster and better care.
Bätzing-Lichtenthäler said that the health authorities have registered at national level, 50 to 60 more jobs due to increasing exposure to the corona virus. Medical students from the 5th year were also asked to work in frontline care should the need arise. Former doctors are also encouraged to answer medical questions on the citizen’s dedicated hotline.
On Thursday there were already more than 50 corona cases in Rhineland-Palatinate. Bodo Plachter from Unimedizin Mainz speaks of an “hourly development”, but said that: “We have the chance to control the infection rate because we have a head start. In Rhineland-Palatinate, we don’t want a situation like in Italy, where hospitals and staff are completely overloaded.
In the long term – “over up to four years,” says Plachter – it can be expected that up to 70 percent of the population will be infected with coronavirus. There is no immune protection.