Do healthcare professionals feel their work is valued?

Health system workers speak to Catalan News about society’s views on their efforts

Doctors at Hospital Clínic, Barcelona, working during the Covid-19 epidemic, April 20, 2020 (by Francisco Àvia / Hospital Clínic)
Doctors at Hospital Clínic, Barcelona, working during the Covid-19 epidemic, April 20, 2020 (by Francisco Àvia / Hospital Clínic) / Lorcan Doherty / Laura Fíguls

Cristina Tomàs White | Barcelona

May 27, 2020 09:54 PM

Do healthcare professionals feel their work is valued? As part of our series on health system workers' experiences during the Covid-19 pandemic, here at Catalan News we asked a number of them about how they thought their efforts were perceived by politicians and society as a whole - this is some of what they shared with us:


David Espiga

An addictions and mental health specialist at Hospital de Mollet, Espiga ended up on the frontline due to his anesthesiology and reanimation training.

"I think the response of [health] professionals to the crisis has been much better than that of politicians. The clapping is nice and it’s appreciated, but it shouldn’t only be done to ease consciences."


Felix Heras Montero 

A family physician at one of the primary care centers in Barcelona’s Raval neighborhood, Heras Montero ended up detecting many Covid-19 cases after hearing patients coughing over the phone and asking them to come in.

"[Primary care physisicians] have never had a ‘valued’ specialty. [Family doctors] have long asked that greater focus be put on primary care because it’s the entryway into the health system and where time and professionals could be allocated to nip many things in the bud."


Olga Molina

A receptionist at a primary care center in Cerdanyola del Vallès, she was one of the early witnesses to the pandemic’s devastation, before many realized there was truly something wrong going on.

"I’d never felt supported - more supported at work than I do now."


Andreu Fernàndez Molina

A senior physician at Barcelona’s Vall d’Hebron hospital’s emergency department, Fernández Molina saw himself forced to make difficult patient care decisions at times when resources were lacking.

"The government has been trying to do what they could. I mean, some things could be done better. Sometimes you have to admit that you do not have enough PPEs and that's it, let's face it, you cannot say that everything looks gorgeous and is working."


Isabel Mur Arizón

An ER and infectious diseases doctor at Barcelona’s Hospital de Sant Pau in both the infectious diseases and the emergency departments, Mur Arizón is also working on a study looking into potential genetic predispositions that would explain why some people develop more extreme Covid-19 symptoms while for others they remain only mild. 

"I think society especially has recognized the work we have been doing and I hope the authorities will too."


Olga Fargas

A doctor working as an emergency medical service phone operator in Hospitalet de Llobregat, Fargas has had to speak to many patients in distress since the outbreak of the pandemic. 

"Of the calls I get per day now, only 3 or 4 say thank you. It’s not every call anymore where people say ‘thank you, you’re all heroes,’ that’s all disappeared now."