'My life is hell right now': Frontline doctors are having their pay cut as much as 25% as hospitals lose patients and revenues amid the focus on infectious coronavirus victims

Frontline doctors are having their pay cut while facing infectious coronavirus patients and as they become increasingly anxious about their exposure to the infection due to a shortage of protective gear.
Doctors say they have seen their pay slashed by as much as 25 per cent since the outbreak began having an economic impact on hospitals, which have seen revenues drop. 
Fewer traumas resulting from stay-at-home orders, a drop in the scheduling of elective surgeries and deferrals of non-urgent treatments and visits have all affected the bottom line at medical facilities across the U.S.
Frontline doctors are having their pay cut while facing infectious coronavirus patients and as they become increasingly anxious about their exposure to the infection due to a shortage of protective gear. A patient is rushed into New York's Mount Sinai Hospital last week
Frontline doctors are having their pay cut while facing infectious coronavirus patients and as they become increasingly anxious about their exposure to the infection due to a shortage of protective gear. A patient is rushed into New York's Mount Sinai Hospital last week
Doctors say they have seen their pay slashed by as much as 25 per cent since the outbreak began having an economic impact on hospitals, which have seen revenues drop. Intensive care doctors are pictured with coronavirus patients in New York
Doctors say they have seen their pay slashed by as much as 25 per cent since the outbreak began having an economic impact on hospitals, which have seen revenues drop. Intensive care doctors are pictured with coronavirus patients in New York
Physicians at the same time are increasingly anxious about their exposure to the virus due to shortages of Protective Personal Equipment, or PPE, and other supplies.  
'Honestly, my life is hell right now,' an emergency medicine doctor in Los Angeles tells Fox News after she recently learned her pay will be cut by at least 25 per cent.
The doctor, whose name was not given, treats patients afflicted with the deadly flu-like virus also known as COVID-19, at three California hospitals.
She says she has already seen two of her colleagues infected with the virus, and the scarce supplies have forced her to turn to Craigslist for an N-95 mask, which includes an attached filter.
At home, the doctor says she's isolating from her family to avoid putting them at risk. She also fears she won't be making $4,000 monthly medical school loan payments she owes.
'When the military gets sent out to a war zone, they get hazard pay for that,' the doctor told Fox News. '... We're taking on this risk. And if you're not going to give us hazard pay, at least don't cut our pay. Don't give us less for us having to take on more. It just doesn't really make sense.' 
There have been more than 588,400 confirmed cases in the US of the coronavirus, which has been blamed for 23,675 deaths.  
Doctors interviewed said they earned $215,000 to $260,000 before the cuts, which is above the national average, but argued they did not live lavish lives. One said he lived in a one-bedroom apartment and drove a Honda.
To put the impact of the wage cuts in perspective, the doctors said they owed $225,000 to $420,000 in student loans, and that they maintained tight budgets to make steep monthly payments on the college debt.
Anxiety is especially high for doctors treating patients in COVID-19 hotspots, where the timing of pay cuts came amid already low morale and nerves that were at the breaking point.
'We were kicked while we were down,' said an emergency doctor in New York who had a 10 per cent cut and expects more.
She has a $4,000 monthly student loan bill, in addition to her mortgage. 
Meanwhile, colleagues at her hospital are 'terrified' treating coronavirus-infected patients without the appropriate protection.
Work in the emergency room now is 'absolutely more dangerous.'
'It's definitely more labor-intensive and it's just harder work. We're all in there every day ... basically terrified about what's going to happen,' she told Fox News. 
It is not clear how many healthcare workers have contracted COVID-19. There were at least 5,400 infections and at least 30 deaths reported from states that provided the data, Buzzfeed News reports.
The dead include Dr. Frank Gabrin, a New York physician who became the first ER doctor believed to have fallen to the virus. Gabrin, 60, a two-time cancer survivor, died in his husband's arms on March 31.
Gabrin had raised concerns about the lack of protective gear before his passing.
Frank Gabrin, a New York physician, became the first ER doctor believed to have died from the coronavirus
Frank Gabrin, a New York physician, became the first ER doctor believed to have died from the coronavirus
Emergency rooms and intensive care units around the country are the battlegrounds for the deadly pandemic but despite their outsized importance, hospitals say they are actually losing money during the pandemic, which has forced them to cut pay, reduce hours and layoff employees.
While emergency rooms and intensive care units are packed handling the worst of the pandemic, hospitals say they are losing money during the outbreak. Elective surgeries are not being scheduled and stay-at-home mandates have resulted in fewer people suffering traumas.
The volume of ER patients alone has dropped about 30 per cent since the virus began to spread, says the American College of Emergency Physicians.
'While most people are doing their part by staying home, emergency physicians and care teams are risking their lives each day as they combat the greatest public health challenge of our lifetime,' the organization said in a statement.
'Our profession is not known for hyperbole, so believe us when we say the situation is dire. Our friends and colleagues are dying alongside the thousands of patients we have taken an oath to protect,' the college explained.
'Despite the fact that we are fighting a war with insufficient armor, emergency physicians' commitment remains unshaken.'
People also don't want to seek treatment for their ailments and risk exposure to the virus, the college said in an April 3rd letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar seeking $3.6 billion in emergency funds.
People also have not wanted to seek treatment for their ailments and risk exposure to the virus, the American College of Emergency Physicians said in an April 3rd letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar (pictured) seeking $3.6 billion in emergency funds
People also have not wanted to seek treatment for their ailments and risk exposure to the virus, the American College of Emergency Physicians said in an April 3rd letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar (pictured) seeking $3.6 billion in emergency funds
The American Hospital Association, or AHA, which represents nearly 5,000 hospitals and other health care providers, has similarly urged lawmakers.
'Unfortunately, like other sectors across the nation, hospitals and health systems have experienced an economic decline due to the COVID-19 pandemic,' an AHA spokesperson said in a statement.
'This strain has resulted in some hospitals having to furlough or layoff health care workers to respond to this public health crisis. Lost revenue is due in large part to the cancellation of elective surgeries and the deferral of other non-urgent treatments and visits.'
A $2.2 trillion stimulus known as the CARES Act which President Donald Trump signed into law last month included $100 billion for hospitals and health care providers. 
Democrats are already pushing for at least another $100 billion in aid.
A $2.2 trillion stimulus package known as the CARES Act which President Donald Trump signed into law last month included $100 billion for hospitals and health care providers. Democrats are already pushing at least another $100 billion.
A $2.2 trillion stimulus package known as the CARES Act which President Donald Trump signed into law last month included $100 billion for hospitals and health care providers. Democrats are already pushing at least another $100 billion.
'Quickly making funds available from the CARES Act will help hospitals and health systems continue to put the health and safety of patients and personnel first, and in many cases, may actually ensure they are able to keep their doors open,' the AHA said.
'We are also supportive of bonus pay for front-line workers during the pandemic.'
The hospital association adds that it wants Trump to fully use the Defense Production Act to increase the production of protective gear and other needed supplies. 
A 'heroes' fund proposed by Senate Democrats would assist essential workers, including health care professionals, providing up to $25,000 this year. 
A federal holiday tax for workers in the health care industry also has been proposed by Republicans in the House, led by Rep. Bill Huizenga of Michigan.
Democrats proposes Heroes Fund to protect essential workers
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Not getting what they are worth 
Some doctors say they feel undervalued, as nurse practitioners have become a cheaper option for treating ailments.  
'Morale among doctors is very low,' said a Texas doctor.
'I don't feel like I'm respected at all. I feel like the general public values nurses much more than doctors now in this country. I think that they believe they can get whatever knowledge I have in my head from Google.'
In New York, adding what some might consider insult to injury, doctors are being asked to volunteer at the hardest-hit hospitals, including Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx and Woodhull Hospital in Brooklyn, according to an email from NYC Health + Hospitals viewed by Fox News.
In New York, doctors are being asked to volunteer at the hardest-hit hospitals, including Elmhurst Hospital (pictured) in Queens, Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx and Woodhull Hospital in Brooklyn, according to an email from NYC Health + Hospitals, the city's hospital agency
In New York, doctors are being asked to volunteer at the hardest-hit hospitals, including Elmhurst Hospital (pictured) in Queens, Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx and Woodhull Hospital in Brooklyn, according to an email from NYC Health + Hospitals, the city's hospital agency
Brooklyn's Woodhull Hospital is among the medical facilities in New York seeking volunteer doctors to help in treating patients during the coronavirus outbreak
Brooklyn's Woodhull Hospital is among the medical facilities in New York seeking volunteer doctors to help in treating patients during the coronavirus outbreak
At the same time, nurses are getting offered $10,000 per week to come to New York, the nation's epicenter of the outbreak, plus money for expenses and even lodging, according to a Facebook ad posted by a recruiter for the city's hospitals agency
At the same time, nurses are getting offered $10,000 per week to come to New York, the nation's epicenter of the outbreak, plus money for expenses and even lodging, according to a Facebook ad posted by a recruiter for the city's hospitals agency
At the same time, nurses are getting offered $10,000 per week to come to New York, the nation's epicenter of the outbreak, plus money for expenses and even lodging, according to a Facebook ad posted by a recruiter for the city's hospitals agency.
NYC Health + Hospitals, the largest public health care system in the nation, did not respond to Fox News' request for comment about the offer.
'It was very upsetting. It almost seemed physician altruism was being manipulated by hospital systems,' said a Manhattan doctor who was asked to be a volunteer. 
'It also made it seem like a physician's life was not worth as much. It would be one thing if they asked everyone to be volunteers, but that's not the case.' 
'My life is hell right now': Frontline doctors are having their pay cut as much as 25% as hospitals lose patients and revenues amid the focus on infectious coronavirus victims 'My life is hell right now': Frontline doctors are having their pay cut as much as 25% as hospitals lose patients and revenues amid the focus on infectious coronavirus victims Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 01:12 Rating: 5

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