The German government is exploring the options of recruiting professional doctors who are migrant to tackle the rise of the Corona Virus spread in the country.
The regional medical board in Saxony, the heartland of the nationalist Alternative for Germany (AfD), is advertising for migrant doctors to help tackle an expected rise in cases.
“Foreign doctors who are in Saxony but do not yet have a license to practice medicine can help with corona(virus) care,” read a Facebook appeal.
The push to tap migrant medics in Saxony comes despite the AfD enjoying a surge in support in a regional election there last year, harnessing voter anger over refugees to come second behind Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives.
Merkel’s 2015 decision to open Germany’s borders to some 1 million migrants fleeing war in the Middle East – the defining moment of her chancellorship – was widely criticised by the AfD and even many of her own conservatives.
A new film, ‘Merkel – Anatomy of a Crisis’, also takes a critical look at her handling of the refugee influx.
But the coronavirus epidemic means medics of all backgrounds are in demand.
Saxony’s regional medical board reported on Monday that 300 volunteers had responded to its appeal for help, including “many foreign doctors whose licensing procedures are not yet completed, whose help is very welcome.”
As of Tuesday, there were 31,554 cases of coronavirus in Germany, with 149 deaths, the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases said. The government says Germany is still at the beginning of the epidemic.