Tuesday, 16.06.2020 - Tuesday, 16.06.2020

„Medics to the World“

The spread of the coronavirus has drastically changed everyone's life while particularly medical personnel felt the impact of the pandemic. Doctors and nurses were faced with the enormous challenge of reacting immediately to the rising number of infections, standing by patients, and protecting the population. Often they risked their own lives and the ones of their families.

Without any doubt their work received tremendous attention and respect. Hence, in many countries, neighborhoods began to express their solidarity by clapping and singing. At the same time, critical voices were raised that a fundamental change in the working conditions of medical personnel is needed, if the system wants to be sustainable in the long term.

In Latvia both positions found a mutual channel to express their demands and their gratitude. Together with the support of several entrepreneurs, the artist Aigars Bikše designed a six-meter high statue of a nurse who has just come out of the treatment room and is preparing for her next shift. The sculpture "Medics to the World" is placed directly in front of the Latvian National Museum in Riga. During the unveiling the artist himself said: "Doctors take responsibility for our health when we are sick. With this sculpture we want to say that it is our duty as a society to take responsibility for ensuring that doctors have the right conditions and material evaluation to perform their duties”.

In order to encourage critical thinking beyond the current interest, the FES also contributed to the development of a quiz about the current state of the Latvian health care system. It allows a brief classification of Latvia in a European comparison and reports surprising facts. This could be a crucial step forward to improve the situation of medical staff as it reveals the state of affairs.

The unveiling of the sculpture was attended by international media representatives and interested locals. The artist gave an insight into the thoughts behind his work and the head of the Latvian Nurses Association, Dita Raiska, provided insights into the crisis from her perspective.

youtu.be/UC7Cb-u4Deo(in Latvian)

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