NGO demands health worker pandemic probe

Not enough is known about the impact of Covid-19 on health workers, says Amnesty International. Keystone / Pablo Gianinazzi

Amnesty International is calling on the Swiss government to investigate the impact of Covid-19 on health workers, so as to better protect them.

This content was published on August 18, 2020 - 09:22

The NGO, together with trade unions and a healthcare organisation, will send an open letter to the federal authorities in a few weeks once it has collected signatures from health workers.

By July, some 230,000 health professionals had contracted Covid-19 worldwide, says Amnesty International. But figures for Switzerland are not available, it complains.

“In Switzerland health care workers were exposed to a greatly increased risk of infection. But there is no precise data on the consequences of the pandemic for this occupation,” the NGO states. “Reliable data is required to enable appropriate measures to better protect health workers.”

In July, healthcare workers complained that they were being charged by canton Bern for expired and mouldy masks.

Conditions for health professionals in some countries have exposed them to unnecessary risk, says Amnesty International. It now wants an independent investigation to determine the situation in Switzerland.

It wants the probe to determine whether Covid-19 should be classified as an occupational disease for those treating virus victims and to show how much support healthcare workers received during the pandemic.

The letter is supported by two trade unions, VPOD and Unia, and the Swiss Association of Care Workers.

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