The reintegration in hospitals of doctors and health workers not vaccinated against Covid-19 is part of the controversy. The procedure has been activated and will take a short time, but ‘the Puglia case’ breaks out: the Region, in fact, announces that it will maintain the regional law that provides for the vaccination obligation also against Covid for health workers and the response of the Undersecretary of Health Marcello Gemmato arrives immediately: the rule will be challenged, he announces. A close response from the president of the Region Michele Emiliano inviting the undersecretary to resign, calling him “inadequate”. And a hard line is also announced by Campania.
In Puglia, the law that obliges health personnel to be vaccinated against Covid “is there and remains in force”, reiterates the Regional Health Councilor. Rocco Palese. The regional law states that unvaccinated health workers cannot be in contact with at-risk patients admitted to hospitals. In fact, the law provides that “in order to prevent and control the transmission of infections to patients, their families, other operators and the community” the Puglia Region identifies “the departments where to allow access only to operators who have complied with the indications of the National Vaccination Prevention Plan in force “. The vaccine obligation for healthcare personnel in Puglia does not only concern Covid but 10 other vaccines, the same ones also provided for by the national plan. A rule that would seem to conflict with the provision approved by the CDM which suspends the vaccination obligation for health professionals, and for which Gemmato has announced the appeal.
Emiliano’s answer is ready: “Gemmato is a long-time politician and should know that between national laws and regional laws in competing matters such as Healthcare, there is no hierarchical relationship that makes the former prevail over the latter, unless there is a violation of the powers of the Parliament. But the latter must be promptly challenged by the Government, which did not happen in our case, as the law in question was of 2021 “.
Campania also makes a choice inspired by greater prudence: in fact, a directive signed by the President Vincenzo De Luca was sent to the General Managers of the Local Health Authorities and Hospitals, with which “it is obligatory to define the use of unvaccinated health personnel, protecting the health of patients and vaccinated operators “. Therefore, it is stated, “the necessary actions aimed at countering any hypothesis of contagion, avoiding direct contact of unvaccinated personnel with patients” will therefore be put in place.
However, the Minister of Health Orazio Schillaci himself sheds light on the return of these doctors to hospitals. “I based myself on the fact that today the scenario is completely different and – he explained – there is a serious shortage of staff: it is true that the doctors reinstated will be about 4 thousand, but in the meantime we are starting to make them available to the health departments. the individual health departments will decide it, evaluating the best place where the reinstated doctors will be able to go to work “. He confirms that the reintegration will take place in a short time, already within the week, the president of the Federation of health and hospital companies (Fiaso) Giovanni Migliore. However, he points out, “let’s talk about small numbers: it is a few units for each hospital because most of the unvaccinated doctors are self-employed”. The president of the Medical Orders (Fnomceo) Filippo Anelli also does the accounts, highlighting that there are 1878 doctors who could actually return to service. As of October 31, he says, “there were 4004 doctors and dentists suspended. Of these, 3543 doctors, 461 dentists and 325 double enrolled. However, looking at the age of the suspended, 47% of the 3543 doctors, say 1665, he is over 68 years old and is therefore out of the National Health Service “. The nurses to be reinstated are instead about 2,600 and 1,194 are pharmacists.
Covid, Gemmato: ‘No gifts to no-vax, let’s follow a scientific approach’
Fnomceo: it is not risky to re-enter the doctors no vax
“Returning unvaccinated doctors to work at this time is not risky. Article 32 of the Constitution asks Parliament to define the balance between the rights of the individual and those of the community in matters of health. During the Covid emergency all parties, with the exclusion of the Brothers of Italy, had reasoned on the prevalence of community law. Now the trend of the disease has changed, for this reason the government proposes to Parliament the adoption of an act that restores the correct functioning of the article 32 of the Constitution “. This was stated by the national president of the National Federation of Medical Orders (Fnomceo), Filippo Anelli, speaking on the stop to the vaccination obligation of health personnel. Answering the question on the Apulian law, which keeps non-immunized doctors away from the most at-risk wards, Anelli added that “there is no conflict between national and regional norms. The first provided that vaccination was an indispensable requirement for practicing the profession. and therefore suspended the no vax staff. The second does not suspend, but limits itself to preventing unvaccinated doctors from working in the wards most at risk “. In Puglia, unvaccinated doctors can therefore only be removed from certain departments. “The national standard during the emergency worked well – concluded Anelli -. We had an average of 80 deaths a month, which that law stopped. But now the epidemiological situation allows for a return to normal. The masks and caution will remain”.