TRENTO. A difficult and worrying situation. Which has been going on for months, even years. And the prospects for the future are certainly not rosy. We are talking about the Pneumology department of Santa Chiara, which has been completely closed, with personnel transferred to infectious diseases to conduct Covid ventilatory assistance.
For these professionals, who have been at the forefront of the fight against the virus for two years, this is another upheaval in their business. But this time doctors and nurses, while obviously ensuring that they were there and that they were ready once again to go “into the trenches”, took pen and paper and wrote to the top management of the health authority, from Antonio Ferro to Pier Paolo Benetollo, up to Mario Grattarola and Giuliano Brunori. These are not accusations or mere protests, labor disputes or impromptu complaints, but an analysis of the situation, of the broken promises and prospects that don’t exist, with a large number of proposals.
The staff underlines that “we are about to reach two years of pandemic, so it is difficult to talk about an unexpected catastrophe, given that there would have been sufficient time to take correct structural and organizational countermeasures. Now we are at the beginning of the fourth wave and this time too we arrive largely unprepared and not for our demerits. Despite this, we feel obliged to guarantee our maximum commitment, but we do not want to accept approximate solutions to stop the problem, to the detriment of our professionalism and our and our patients’ health ».
The professionals then go into detail, explaining the current situation at the top of APSS and asking some questions. “We do not know how the national funds earmarked for the strengthening of the pneumology departments engaged with Covid were spent: there was a project and a resolution of the council with the creation of a new service with 8 beds, but we discovered that was quashed. No one warned us and no one, upon repeated request for clarification, felt obliged to answer us.
The director of our department retired almost two years ago – why don’t we have a director yet? The staff shortage is known to the management and we are now left with 5 doctors and one part time. We wonder if the staff will be strengthened.
Even the nursing part is chronically in difficulty and only for the ordinary activity there is difficulty in covering the shifts.
Again: Apss rightly declares that it wants to protect non-Covid activities. But then the only two departments of Pneumology in the Province are converted for the sole Covid activity ».
Finally, the key question: “Can you guarantee the return of our department at the end of the emergency, perhaps taking advantage of the abandonment to carry out structural improvements?”.
Doctors and nurses, in light of the novelty of the departments merged to manage Covid patients, know that predicting the duration of the measure is not easy and therefore it would be better to be able to design an organization calibrated on the worst hypothesis, which could be six months. In this sense, according to the professionals, it would be important that the teams were not dismembered.
Then the requests become “technical” and enter the field of full functionality from the health point of view, obviously in the interest of the patients and the staff themselves. The long report – it is written – was also sent to the relevant professional associations and trade unions, as a matter of transparency. Because “everyone can participate in the precarious situation that we have been living for too long”. Now the hope is that these doctors and nurses, who for two years have rowed in one direction far beyond their duties, will have some answers and above all concrete solutions. And the hope is also that the problem is not actually more extensive and concerns, perhaps in other words, other departments as well.