Covid and flu still filling hospitals, chronic shortage of staff, heavy holes in the workforce and accumulated benefits still to be disposed of from the most acute phase of the pandemic. A deadly cocktail for Friuli Venezia Giulia health care which continues to fail and create six problems for users who have an ever greater need to go to hospitals, also in view of the aging of the regional population. What is one of the visiting cards of healthcare, waiting times, pays the most for it.
But there is a “novelty” that has a greater impact on expectations, namely the short visits, those that must be completed within 10 days. Well, times are inexorably lengthening even for these. Not only. From one month to the next (the table we publish alongside relates to the month of December of last year, therefore very recent) the situation has worsened further, in some cases even by several days and always for “short” services. If last November, however, it was the province of Pordenone that was worse off, now Udine ends up in the queue. However, there is a fact that somehow keeps Friuli’s health afloat, the fact that since the territory is much larger there are more structures that provide services and benefits. Including private ones. In short, as if to say that if at the hospital in Udine (the point of reference remains in any case) the situation precipitated with a single visit within the foreseen times (10 days) compared to sixteen examined, there are however other structures in which for the same specialty the times are within the average. A step forward, there’s no doubt, but it’s hard to think that most of the elderly residents of the city would go to Tarvisio for exams, rather than Palmanova or Latisana.
As mentioned, from one month to the next, times have worsened further. In Pordenone, just to give an example, if on the one hand waiting times for Cardiological examinations have shortened, a municipality of at least six days more than required by law, on the other hand the times for a CT scan, a Pneumology and a Neurology. Ophthalmology is decidedly better, even if it falls short of correct expectations, but infinitely better than at the beginning of last year.
There is no doubt that the contribution of private structures, above all for diagnostic imaging, has given a jolt to expectations, but not sufficient to bring the right times back into line. It’s not all. Several general practitioners who know very well the times of health care in the province of Pordenone, if they need to have the report quickly, either call their hospital colleagues to indicate the type of clinical situation, or indicate private structures in the Veneto where a CAT scan can be performed in about ten days, as well as an MRI scan. Even the private structures in the Veneto are obviously affiliated, so the patient pays the same co-payment he would pay in Friuli, sometimes even less, then the entire service goes to the expense of the regional health system.
WHAT TO DO
At this moment, finding solutions is absolutely not easy. Impossible to think, as it was once identified, to make the equipment work (several of which have also reached almost the end of their run) even in the afternoon and on Sunday. The reason is easily explained: the staff is not even enough for normal working hours, let alone if it is possible to extend them by lengthening the hours. Covid and flu are still hitting hard and knocking out healthcare personnel as well. In short, there is still a little to suffer, even if holidays will then start and therefore benefits will be reduced to guarantee the rest periods established by the employment contract. In practice, until there are new staff, the situation will hardly have a surge towards the best.
In Pordenone, as the table suggests, neurological, orthopedics, urology, dermatology, gastroenterology and pulmonology visits are the ones that perform the worst. At the Udine hospital the situation is even worse.