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Parliamentary questions
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29 April 2020
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 138
Eugen Tomac
 Answer in writing 
 Subject: Protecting the mental health of medical staff in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic

In these difficult times, doctors and medical staff have become heroes in the eyes of the European public. As well as exposing health workers to great danger and forcing them to put their lives on the line each day in the battle against the new coronavirus, this unprecedented situation is also taking a heavy toll on their mental health.

In constant fear for their lives, health workers come into direct contact with the suffering caused by the epidemic. They are isolated from their families and overworked to the point of total exhaustion. These factors, combined with social distancing and even ostracism, amount to a psychological burden weighing down even the strongest among them. Europe is likely to see a considerable increase in the number of health workers affected by anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress.

However, the physical and mental well-being of doctors is a decisive factor regarding their ability to save the lives of European citizens, who are also suffering from mental stress. In view of this:

What protection does the Commission intend to provide for health workers combating this epidemic and subject to severe psychological strain as a result?

Will it be able to formulate long-term responses to the effects of the COVID virus on the mental health of medical staff?

Can it earmark funding for studies to accurately assess the impact of the epidemic on the mental health of the public and, more particularly, medical staff?

Original language of question: RO
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