Florence, 22 November 2020 – First the doctors protested, then the citizens, finally the politicians from right to left (also from the Democratic Party). L’autumn Covid emergency has made the short blanket of Tuscan healthcare show itself again in all its weakness. This time it was the turn of medical guard. From midnight the answers of the medical guard, the real garrison of the territory, will only be possible over the phone. This was established by an ordinance signed by President Eugenio Giani to have more doctors of continuity of assistance available.
“The interruption of the continuity of assistance at 24, with the introduction of telephone advice only from 24 to 8, is a wrong choice in terms of assistance that will produce improper access to hospitals and serious consequences on the maintenance of the 118 and emergency rooms “was the first to argue Italian trade union federation of united doctors (Fismu), with regard, in fact, to the ordinance 107 signed by the president of the Tuscany Region which provides for the replacement of the night medical guard with a telephone consultancy service.
Per Marco Bruni, Fismu business continuity care manager, “the medical on-call service is strategic in the area and is organized precisely to guarantee the assistance activity for the whole day and for every day of the week as continuity of assistance in primary care, from ensure seamless continuity “. According to what is stated in the text of the ordinance of the Region, the working hours of the medical guards that will become available with the suspension of the service “will be used during the day to contribute to health surveillance, as well as to outpatient activities on patients with flu-like symptoms or housed in a health hotel “.
Then the citizens made themselves heard, especially those who live in disadvantaged areas, far from first aid and first-aid health services. Some mayors have interpreted the needs of the area. The mayor of Sansepolcro (Arezzo), Mauro Cornioli, representing all the first citizens of the Valtiberina Toscana wrote to Giani.
“As responsible for the health of citizens, we mayors cannot endorse a choice that penalizes small communities and, worse still, those in the mountains. Where 118 vehicles arrive with more difficulty and taking twice as long, we cannot leave the “vacuum” in health care at night. The medical guard is a “life saver” and is therefore essential to guarantee the right to be taken care of that our citizens have, on a par with those who live in the city or in less peripheral centers. We have not even been asked about the question, which has therefore “fallen from above” without the possibility of expressing our opinion. We therefore reiterate our opposition to this provision, because health cannot be subject to rules of We therefore formally ask you to revert to the decision – revoking or rectifying your order to maintain the fundamental medical service during the night is”.
From mayors to political representatives. On the Italian Left, the PCI, Italia VIva, Lega and Forza Italia and also the Democratic Party. Everyone accuses the fragility of the system that ‘takes away on one side to cover the needs of another sector, but the citizen and the effectiveness of the local service always lose out “.
Elisa Tozzi (Lega) will present a question to the regional council: “An absolutely negative judgment has come from the same health professionals against a decision that risks, in a particular and complex moment like this, to flood the emergency rooms even more” . Marco Barzanti (PCI) hopes for a rethinking that will lead to the cancellation of the ordinance.
“We are amazed by the decision taken by the Tuscan governor Eugenio Giani who, with the regional ordinance, decided to remove the medical service after midnight. This choice in this moment of serious emergency makes no sense” say the vice president of the Forza Italia group Stefano Mugnai in the Chamber and the deputy of Fi Elisabetta Ripani. And the Italian Left: “Trying to make up for the now evident shortcomings of territorial medicine by decreasing even more the nearest services in the area goes exactly the opposite of what should be done, decongest the emergency rooms”. The Italian VIva regional councilor Maurizio Sguanci also attacked: “The pandemic cannot and must not upset the health and welfare structure of our universal public system. At risk there is the protection of everyone’s health. It is unthinkable to leave the citizens without adequate welfare responses, including those guaranteed by the medical guard “.
And even from the Democratic Party they begin to rethink: even Enrico Sostegni regional councilor of the Democratic Party, president of the Healthcare Commission and Vincenzo Ceccarelli, leader of the PD group in the Tuscan assembly do not agree with the decision to suspend the medical guard from 24 to 8. According to the two regional councilors “we must keep the emergency medical service open 24 hours a day in disadvantaged areas. We appreciate the effort put in place to combat the health emergency linked to Covid – they add in a note – and we understand the need to have a greater number of doctors available, but it must be borne in mind that Tuscany is not just made up of cities and large centers, on the contrary it is a vast territory and there are more marginal areas that cannot be left uncovered and where this choice risks having the effects of a weakening of services that are difficult to sustain by local communities ”.
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