The Latvian Medical Association (LĀB) condemns hate speech and expressing any kind of threat to doctors and calls on the public to treat health professionals with respect and understanding, informs Evija Ansonska, LĀB’s public relations manager.
The LAB considers that there is a need for more active involvement of state authorities in the protection of doctors and other medical professionals. The association also calls on all political forces to show solidarity in the fight against Covid-19, and not to denigrate doctors in various ways, preventing them from performing their professional duties.
The LAB is aware that the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic has led to a change in human lifestyles and habits, the need to adapt to new circumstances, with significant direct and indirect effects on people’s physical and mental health. Latvian doctors, as elsewhere in the world, face the consequences of this infection on a daily basis and see the worst side of the disease – people entering intensive care units, long-term rehabilitation and death. Therefore, it is the duty of doctors to explain the seriousness of this disease, taking care of the health of the whole society, Ansonska emphasized.
She explained that the active expression of public opinion by health professionals, which is the professional duty of a doctor, has led to an unprecedented wave of hatred and threats against doctors. Unfortunately, there are also hostile statements made by officials against industry professionals, who not only actively fight Covid-19 in their work, but also promote public awareness of the current situation and possible solutions. It is absolutely unacceptable that doctors are exposed to psychological and physical threats for doing their job for the benefit of society. It promotes burnout and undermines the motivation of doctors to work. Therefore, the LAB encourages the relevant public administration institutions to actively address and eradicate such cases.
The LAB urges health care workers who have received threats or regularly suffer from hate speech not to remain silent and to inform the relevant law enforcement authorities.
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