The lack of safe working conditions at the Ibn Zohr hospital has pushed health care providers to their breaking point.
Rabat – The Ibn Zohr hospital in Marrakech is suffering limited resources to tackle the surge in confirmed COVID-19 cases, and exhausted health professionals are preparing to boycott services.
A statement circulating online from health professionals at the hospital, known as “Mamounia” among Marrakech residents, informed the head of the regional hospital that health care providers will end the provision of COVID-19 services due to “lack of safety conditions.”
The press release said that Ibn Zohr’s doctors have done their best to fulfill their duties amid the unprecedented health crisis.
“This voluntary work for the internal doctors in the regional hospital since March was dependent on ensuring safety conditions (…) to avoid the possibility of having health professionals become virus carriers or turning the health facility into a [COVID-19] hotspot,” the statement said.
The doctors reported a “scary pressure” at the hospital’s hosting services and emergency room due to the emergence of COVID-19 among Marrakech residents and also among doctors and nurses.
“With lack of a clear vision on what will come next (…) we would like to inform the director [of the hospital] of our decision to end work at the COVID-19 services starting August 17.”
In addition to the press release, local media are heavily reporting about the internal crisis at the Ibn Zohr hospital.
Marrakech-based media outlet Kech 24 describes the situation in the hospital as “abnormal,” claiming Ibn Zohr lacks the “minimum working conditions” needed to ensure health professionals’ safety during the COVID-19 crisis.
For the news outlet, the conditions in the hospital put health workers at risk infection. Kech 24 reported that the “majority” of doctors in the hospital are “old” or suffering from chronic diseases that could turn life-threatening if COVID-19 enters the ring.
The Movement of Nurses and Health Technicians also published a statement on August 15, claiming that 50 health care providers in the city of Marrakech have COVID-19.
The cases include 32 nurses in several specialties, as well as health technicians in charge of analysis.
The statement gave more data about health providers infected with COVID-19 throughout Morocco.
The statement reported 42 cases among nurses and other health professionals in Fez, 32 in Tangier, 17 in Casablanca, 9 in Taza, and elsewhere.
Marrakech, Fez, and Tangier are among the eight cities Morocco suspended travel to and from in late July due to the rapid increase in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases.
The Marrakech-Safi region has recorded 7,048 COVID-19 cases as of August 17, while Tangier-Tetouan Al Hoceima has recorded 8,533 cases.
The number of COVID-19 cases is steadily increasing, exhausting resources at Moroccan hospitals.
The situation prompted the government to mobilize military field hospitals in several areas, including Fez and Sidi Yahia.
The field hospitals receive and treat COVID-19 patients.
Due to the increase in the number of COVID-19 cases, Morocco authorized virus carriers with mild symptoms to self-treat at home.
COVID-19 patients with chronic diseases are generally admitted to hospitals in major cities, while those with mild conditions receive treatment at the temporary field hospitals.