Retired doctors in Italy are returning to work to treat coronavirus patients
All across Italy, in response to a pandemic that is surging too fast for the health system to cope, a legion of retired doctors and nurses is returning to hospitals. It’s a jarring, risky life reversal on a broad scale.
The retirees are stepping back into the field to contend with a virus that is particularly deadly for seniors. And even for those returning to familiar clinics and hospitals, the jobs they perform are now unrecognizable — coordinating war-style triage in places deluged with patients, or contending with people isolated from their families and gasping for breath.
In a growing number of places dealing with major outbreaks, from London to New York, retired health workers are responding to similar calls to deal with the influx. Countries with the largest emergencies are looking not just to older doctors, but also volunteers, people who left midcareer, or those willing to relocate from other countries or lesser-hit regions.