The coronavirus took the world's medical system by storm - pushing some health care workers to the limits and unveiling weak structures doctors are now calling out.
Catalonia Strike: Hundreds Of Doctors Take Part
In Spain's Catalonia region hundreds of primary-care doctors went on strike to call for increased protection as the country nears 900,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases.
Organized by union Metges de Catalunya that represents almost 6,000 doctors, the strike called for pay increases and more doctors.
Barcelona physician Natalia Roses said doctors are "asking for help, because we cannot give people the resources they need to be treated."
University professor Jose Enrique Gallego said "health personnel" have the biggest reason for going on strike owing to the current situation in Spain - the seventh hardest-hit country in the world in confirmed COVID-19 infections.
There have been reports about how Spanish hospitals are overwhelmed with the increasing number of cases. Primary care centers are even more pressured as these are where coronavirus cases are first brought.
U.S. Doctors' Exodus: Greener Pastures In New Zealand
In the U.S., some nurses and even doctors have started packing up and jetting off to New Zealand as the U.S. retains its spot as the world's hardest-hit country.
Dr. Judy Melinek is just one of the doctors who set their sights on New Zealand during the pandemic. She was among the health care providers who asked for sufficient personal protective equipment for health care workers.
Melinek said in the new country where she decided to work there was "a lot more respect for the government and for science." The former acting chief forensic pathologist for Alameda County in California said she expected "an exodus" of health care workers from the U.S.
Recruitment group Global Medical Staffing said it had received more inquiries about relocating to New Zealand from the U.S. Compared with more than 7 million confirmed COVID-19 infections in the U.S., New Zealand has yet to reach 2,000 cases. However, its population is 4.9 million only compared with 328 million in the U.S.
UK Frontliners: 'Weary' Atmosphere
In the UK, the situation for doctors is less optimistic as the second wave of the coronavirus is predicted.
In a diary entry for BBC News, epidemiologist and head of the Bradford Institute for Health Research, Dr. John Wright wrote about the effect of lockdowns on the community in the COVID-19 era.
Besides laying out the opinions of people whose careers, businesses and health were put on unstable ground owing to the pandemic, Wright delivered a short update on how COVID-19 has affected doctors and health workers.
"There is a physical and mental weariness among the staff, though no dip in the compassion that guides them," he said.
Wright's comments echo stories that tell of the plight of worn-out health care workers and the feelings of fear that they have.
Ukraine: Shortage Paves Difficult Path To Recovery
In Ukraine, there has been an uptick in daily new COVID-19 cases - but the number of doctors ready to treat patients has not increased.
Chief doctor at the only hospital in the town of Stebnyk in Ukraine, Natalia Stetsik said the shortage of physicians was making it "incredibly difficult" for staff members.
Towns like Stebnyk have around 20,000 people and limited health facilities and before the novel coronavirus 0 the town usually took in around 100 patients.
Fast-forward to the fourth quarter of 2020 and the Stebnyk hospital has gone over the limit. It is treating 106 COVID-19 patients. Overcrowding is expected as new cases emerge but the bigger issue is on the small number of doctors. There is also the matter of inadequate supplies.
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has accused government officials of taking too much time in accomplishing the legalities necessary to deliver health care supplies to hospitals.
So far, the number of known deaths among doctors in Ukraine is 132. The country has more than 272,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 5,100 deaths.