Message of appreciation to Physicians in their fight against Covid-19

Physicians around the world feel let down and demoralized in their fight against Covid-19, the retiring President of the World Medical Association said on Friday.

In his valedictory speech at the WMA’s annual General Assembly Dr. David Barbe declared: ‘There are many physicians around the world who do not feel appreciated or supported for the risks they have taken or the sacrifices they have made in caring for patients with COVID. Many are demoralized. Many feel their governments, and, in some cases, their hospitals have let them down. Some feel taken for granted or even taken advantage of.’

According to a press release of WMA, Dr. Barbe said physicians needed to hear they were appreciated. ‘You are appreciated. We recognize all you have done and thank you for the sacrifices you have made. I think physicians need to hear that. I think you need to hear that. It is our job as leaders to make sure our physicians know we are proud of them and that their efforts and their sacrifice are appreciated.’

Dr. Heidi Stensmyren, former President of the Swedish Medical Association, who was installed as the WMA’s President for 2021/22 said in her inaugural speech to the online Assembly that health care had been pushed to the limit during the pandemic.

‘All of us have faced personal and professional challenges during the pandemic, and a virulent virus still ravages our world. Healthcare has been pushed to the limit.  Physicians have toiled on the frontlines, risking self and family to provide care to countless patients who have fallen ill to Covid-19. The working conditions are beyond challenging.  Many physicians have become victims of the virus, and some of us have died while caring for others.’

She said that at the core of good medical practice was a solid basis in evidence-based medicine.

But she added: ‘There has been and continues to be, fearmongering, misinformation, and false claims.  Some of these claims are highly concerning and present potentially serious health risks to global health. We have a responsibility to speak out against fraudulent claims, to represent science.  We are also responsible for explaining this science in ways the general public can grasp and comprehend. Moving forward, this will be an increasingly important task for the WMA. As president of the WMA, I will add “vaccinate!” to the quote “test, test, test” made by Thedros, Director-General of the WHO’. / Argumentum.al