Open letter from MU – Plovdiv

In connection with the publication of certain media who made unfounded criticism of the organization of work at the Medical University of Plovdiv at the current epidemic situation, we would like the public to know the truth.

We are aware of the exceptional nature of the emergency, but we firmly believe that we all have the potential to deal with it in the best possible way. The test is for everyone, but we are the first to respond to the needs of society.

The Academic Council of MU – Plovdiv, with great care to its students, teaching staff and personnel, and a conscious responsibility to all people, in its meeting on 16.03.2020, by open and positive vote adopted decisions necessary for the proper organization of the learning process in the given situation.

All students of MU – Plovdiv are on vacation this week (until March 20th). From March 23rd, the training of students and full time PhD students will be held in absentia, using electronic / remote platforms.

The Auditorium Complex is closed, there are no students in the lecture halls and in the University courtyard. Libraries are closed and the connection to the databases is through remote access. The number of students living in the dormitories is minimized.

The Academic Council specifically addressed the issue regarding the training of trainee doctors. Some of the university hospital directors opined that in connection with opening of new structures to combat the spread of COVID-19, there is an urgent need of medical staff.

Hospitals are currently recruiting volunteers from the region – doctors, trainee doctors, nurses, pharmacists and students – to meet this need. Many students from MU – Plovdiv have volunteered to be on the front line.

We are convinced that it is a moral duty of every Bulgarian doctor to be on the front line, and trainee doctors are only a few months away from graduation and from taking the Hippocratic Oath. Now is the time when society needs them, and they can prove with their deeds why they chose the most humane profession. We believe that our trainee doctors accept the protection of people’s lives and health as their mission.

The Academic Council of MU – Plovdiv decided that trainee doctors to continue their clinical internship in accordance with the established order in line with the instructions of the National Operational Headquarters. They are expected to be the primary assistants to the doctors who work in extreme conditions in this situation.

The Academic Council of the Medical University – Plovdiv decided that resident doctors should continue working in accordance with the established order, in line with the requirements of the medical establishments and in compliance with the instructions of the National Operational Headquarters.

The period from March 16th to March 20th was declared as one that requires the attendance of teaching staff so that they could create the necessary organization and prepare online lectures, exercises and exams. From March 23rd, 2020 will begin distance learning (e-training) sessions in accordance with the specifics of training in the different units.

The Educational Activities Department switched to online service of students, staff and external parties.

It was decided at a real opportunity and in accordance with their work responsibilities, administrative staff may also perform their duties remotely. Administrative staff that are required to be present at the workplace due to necessity shall observe the necessary social distance. The Management has provided disinfectants and protective masks to all members of staff.

MU – Plovdiv makes optimal use of all its resources to provide a smooth administrative service which will be fully electronic.

All decisions taken by the Management of MU – Plovdiv are in accordance with the Decision of the National Assembly of the Republic of Bulgaria of 13.03.2020, declaring a state of emergency in relation to the epidemic situation in the country, as well as with Ordinance No. RD-0-124/13.03.2020 of the Minister of Health.

The COVID-19 coronavirus epidemic puts to the test our preparation, professionalism, our ability to work in a team, to be organized and adequate to the dynamic situation. But it is also a measure of our responsibility, empathy and humanity.

I believe in the professionalism of our teaching staff, in the self-discipline of our students and in our mission – to be dedicated to humanity!

I appeal to the media to properly inform the public, not to cause unnecessary panic and to support worthy acts of all those who have dedicated themselves to the people!

Together we will succeed!!!

Prof. Dr. Marianna Murdjeva
Medical University – Plovdiv