Home » Compromised assistance in 90% of hospital wards due to holidays – News

Compromised assistance in 90% of hospital wards due to holidays – News

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Compromised assistance in 90% of hospital wards due to holidays – News

With a third of the staff on vacation, during the summer in the hospitals of Calabria the activity of the outpatient clinics drops by 60%, closed in 40% of cases, and the quality of assistance is compromised in 90% of the wards. In order not to bring hospitals to collapse, almost 70% of doctors increase their workloads and about a third skip rest shifts. To provide the picture in the summer period, when the holidays make the gaps in the workforce unsustainable, is the survey conducted by the Federation of hospital internists in 10 internal medicine operating units of the Calabrian hospitals.
A situation that mirrors what also happens in a large part of the departments of other specialties. Even if, as the president Fadoi Francesco Dentali specifies, “in internal medicines, the shortages of personnel which are accentuated in the summer make the picture more critical due to the fact that our wards are still erroneously classified as ‘low intensity of care’, which does not reflect the complexity of the elderly and multi-morbidity patients we treat in our Units, who alone absorb a fifth of all hospitalizations. This anachronistic classification already implies a lower endowment of technologies, doctors and nurses for bed, which becomes explosive in the summer”.
Which between June and September, according to the Fadoi survey, happens for less than half of Calabrian doctors. In fact, 60% cannot take advantage of the 15 days of holidays, as guaranteed by the contract. For those who stay, the volume of work increases in 70% of cases and this affects “sufficiently” the assistance offered to citizens in 60% of hospitals, “a lot” in another 30% and “little” only in 10% of wards and never “not at all”. Outpatient activities are also affected, which decrease activities in 60% of cases and close completely in the remaining 40% of hospitals. If, despite reducing their activities, the hospitals do not close, it is due to the sacrifices made by the doctors to cover the shortage. This is how 80% between June and September see the weekly rest periods skipped here and there, although they should always be guaranteed, and 30% are forced to cover night shifts with additional activities.
“The lack of personnel – comments the president Fadoi Calabria Raffaele Costa – is a chronic problem of our Calabrian hospitals, not only in the wards belonging to the emergency-urgency area, but also in the internal medicine units. The problem is further exacerbated during the summer period, sometimes representing a real emergency. In our region, as in many areas of Italy, it happens that in order to obtain a holiday period, those who remain are forced to extend or double the day shifts, to carry out additional night shifts, in different wards, continuing to work regularly the next day”. “It also happens – he continues – that some wards, really reduced to the bone, are forced to significantly reduce the number of beds, a condition that inexorably affects the Emergency Departments, which are increasingly clogged and overcrowded in the summer. Many clinics often close their doors. The consequences of this imbalance, as it is easy to guess, affect patients, especially the most fragile, who risk interrupting a delicate follow-up, and the elderly, many of which ‘fear’ the summer period in which they suffer most from loneliness and abandonment, victims of a society and a welfare system that are radically changing before everyone’s eyes”.
“Nevertheless – concludes Costa – all healthcare personnel, and internists in particular, once again on the front line, are also taking charge of this need, in the same way as in the pandemic period, sacrificing time and energy without holding back, making themselves ready even in strenuous situations and psychophysical stress. The strengthening of human resources, together with the use of incentives, including financial ones, and the fundamental requalification of Internal Medicines as departments no longer with a low intensity of care, could represent an important aid that would help make more attractive to work at the bodies and companies of the NHS, increasingly devoid of medical personnel and in trouble”.

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