In general, there is a shortage of health workers based on existing standards in BIH. The availability of staff has been aggravated by high emigration rates of qualified health workers in recent years. The shortage includes specialisations critical for managing COVID-19 outbreak, including field epidemiologists, infectious diseases specialists, ICU specialists and trained nursing staff.
So far, the only actions taken to increase or maintain the availability of health workers have been to bring health workers out of retirement through a public appeal in one hospital and using medical students for contact tracing and answering phone calls on COVID-19. As of 25 March there are were no official plans for additional actions or measures.
Staff from healthcare and other sectors are able to support the health system response to COVID-19 (e.g. by manning helplines, using contact tracing IT systems), but, as of 25 March, there are were no plans for additional actions or measures.
Measures that affect placements of medical and nursing students so far only include using of student volunteers to help in contact tracing (interviews), and in taking phone calls.
There is no clear delineation of individual roles and responsibilities of health workers.
No information is have beenwas available as of the 25 March on horizontal or vertical role/task substitution measures being taken to support care for severe or critical COVID-19 presentations.
No detailed information is currently available as of 25 March on whether staff, particularly those who are redeployed from other specialties, are being trained to recognise cases and deal with COVID-19 . It is safe to assume that all deployed staff to COVID-19 designated beds/facilities need additional/refresher training in IC management/techniques, delivered and supervised by IC specialists. In collaboration with Mayo Clinic from the United States, WHO is has been providing an online training/updates and coaching for key intensive care professionals from BIH in charge of COVID-19 clinical management.
Initial efforts have been made to provide psychosocial support for persons in self-isolation, via the Internet and social media platforms. As of 25 March there are were no plans for any special provision of psychosocial or other occupational health support for health workers.
On 16 April, all workers employed in the health sector of RS were supposed to receive a bonus to their salaries in the amount of BAM 1,000.