In the square the anger of the Doctors and of the Health Managers: “We are tired, angry and disappointed. Public health is in dramatic conditions. Now is the time to disobey”


Today a national demonstration called by the acronyms that make up the Inter-union of the medical and health management of the NHS. From the stage in Piazza Santi Apostoli, the complaint for the critical conditions of public health and the disappointment with the work of the new government. “We are against the legacy that this government is taking on the line of cuts to health care and the lack of responses to the poor working conditions of those who keep the National Health Service running”.

15 DEC

“An already expired contract not implemented, 5 million unpaid holidays, 10 million unpaid overtime hours”. This makes “doctors tired, angry, disillusioned” as described by the secretary of Anaao Assomed, Pierino Di Silveriospeaking from the stage set up in Rome in Piazza Santi Apostoli where the demonstration by the inter-union medical and health management in defense of public health took place.

“Seven doctors a day – he said – leave the National Health Service: we must stop the bleeding immediately. To do this, investments are needed that are not seen in finance today”. But we also need “the decriminalization of medical acts, which is not a goal but a starting point, because we have 35,000 lawsuits filed against healthcare personnel every year and 300,000 are those that lie in drawers but 97% end with a nothing done”.

For all these reasons, concluded Di Silverio, “the joint medical union is today in the streets to `Save Public Health´. This is not the time to safeguard a small garden, we must be united as a category”.

“At least 5 billion more are needed to get a National Health Service back on track otherwise doomed to failure. And instead the current government continues to ignore all our requests. If we don’t reverse course, hospitals will remain empty,” he said Guido Quicipresident of the Cimo-Fesmed Federation, speaking during the event.

“We are here – he said – to thank those who have closed hospitals and emergency rooms in the last 10 years, cut beds and staff, leaving us in the dramatic conditions we find ourselves in today”. That is a situation, explained Quici, in which “a young doctor finds no reason to start working in the national health service, working in dramatic conditions, constantly risking lawsuits and assaults, earning much less than in the rest of Europe and without any career perspective”

“We – concluded the union leader – are the last bulwark in defense of the National Health Service, but we are alone. And then it will be necessary to start a protest movement, because what we are losing before our eyes is too precious”.

“We are against the legacy that this government is taking on the line of cuts to health care and the lack of responses to the poor working conditions of those who keep the National Health Service running. From the public, doctors resign to work in the private sector, earning a salary 4 times higher than that of a NHS doctor. Politics has proved to be an incapable administrator, throwing money out the window and impoverishing resources for the Health Fund”. He stressed Alexander Vergallonational president of the Italian hospital anesthesiologists and resuscitators association (Aaroi-Emac), in his speech from the stage.

“As anesthesiologists – recalled Vergallo – we are the specialists who suffer the most from the lack of colleagues, we run in the middle of the night to save a life even risking our own”.

“By 2030, about half of doctors will retire. If urgent action is not taken, the government will be responsible for the failure of the National Health Service”. This was denounced by the national secretary of the Fp Cgil Medici and Ssn managers, Andrew Philippi, from the stage of the national event.

From the data of the report on employment in the Pa of the Fp CGIL, observes the union leader, “it emerges that the age of the doctors and managers of the National Health Service is over 55 years old. By 2030, 49,000 doctors will leave their service, 44% of the 112,000 currently in service. It is necessary to provide for new hires, not only for turnover, but to guarantee the essential levels of assistance. Moreover, a dynamic that does not take into account the flight of doctors from the NHS, due to poor working conditions and wages. Doctors who abandon the public to choose the freelance contracts that this budget law favors with the flat tax “.

“Behind these numbers, behind the daily reality, the need to intervene to make public work attractive emerges, also by investing in the next national contract. Otherwise we will sanction the bankruptcy of the NHS, also nullifying the huge investment made in recent years in specialist training. As it is in the reasons of the square convened today, it is necessary to intervene on the organization of services and work, to hire personnel and to enhance the professions. These are the priority requests that the unions of doctors and managers of the National Health Service are making to the government. It’s time to act to save public health, to defend the right to health and the right to treatment”, concludes Filippi.

“In Italy there is no longer a hospital, a district, a region that can fully guarantee the Lea. The huge resources of the PNRR will only be used to build new health facilities in the area which, remaining without staff, will be left inactive or given away to private healthcare. Private healthcare thanks you and goes to cash directly from the pockets of those in need of treatment. To defend the NHS, the time has come to disobey, to react and to open a dispute that will not end with a few non-contractual tips, provided that a contract negotiated in the right time and manner and with adequate resources, the Government and the Regions want to sign. NHS personnel are responsible for prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation: a special category, just like the right they protect is special. We must be united, compact and determined to save public health, for every citizen’s right to health, in the interest of the community”. He said Aldo Grasselli FVM President.

From the stage in Piazza Santi Apostoli, the voice of the women of the NHS was loudly heard:
doctors, veterinarians, health managers have told their sufferings and their desires, described their strength as women on the front line, through letters to the premier Giorgia Meloni.

“Dear Giorgia, we ask to be protected as working women because the vast majority of us believe the current home-work reconciliation policies are not sufficient to make our jobs more satisfying. Our voice, my voice here today has the same sense of his presence, of his bet to be able to govern the country: look at the needs of citizens” he underlined Maria Gabriella Satin Anesthetist of the Ausl / lrccs Reggio Emilia who added: “Today our working conditions are not those of a civilized country and in carrying out your task of solving the problems of the Public Health System, remember that you will mostly have women to look you in the eye . Women who, apart from this afternoon in this square, look at her, observe her work, always from their workplaces, every day and every night, as they say, 24 hours a day”.

“Dear Giorgia, I’m a public pharmacist, I work in an office next to the hospital waste exit, or in the garage of an ASL in the middle of the valleys of the Dolomites. “We are less than 3 thousand in all of Italy. By 2030, half will retire,” he said Sabrina Dipersio, of the AO Sant’Andrea in Rome. “You, Giorgia, as a woman – she continues – know that the best management is done by those who feel responsible for what is entrusted to them: we have entrusted you with health care. In order not to go only to funerals, come and listen first to those who viscerally care about the health of Italians. You, Giorgia, as a politician who has worked his way up, and only today you became president, know that you can’t improvise for the government. Don’t destroy another Italian jewel, don’t hand over the Italian health system to private individuals. We are very tired, we could even choose to quit, just know that. Giorgia, believe us, the emergency is not the disease: the emergency is guaranteeing diagnosis and treatment. We are here: and you, Giorgia?”.

Then it was the turn of Catherine Pandolfi, doctor for 15 years in the Emergency Room, who in her letter to the Prime Minister wanted to recall her passion for work, but also her doubts about staying and working in an ED: “I feel alone – she said – The emergency room rescue has become a trench and the “troops” are increasingly thin. Around me I continue to see colleagues who choose to leave and abandon the NHS to land in the private sector. ;I feel tired! Because I can’t rest when I have the right to. We accumulate unpaid overtime hours and vacation days that we are unable to take advantage of. I feel teased, because I happen to work with ‘token holders’ colleagues who take a thousand euros in turn, enriching cooperatives of dubious nature. We are reduced to rings on an assembly line that only cares about the number of services and has lost sight of the humanization of care which is left only to the good will of us healthcare workers. And then ours is not even considered strenuous work.

I will never forgive you for having made it unbearable and very tiring to practice the most beautiful profession in the world – he commented – competitions for first aid are deserted and this is unacceptable: you have made our profession no longer attractive to anyone. But despite this I feel that I still want to be in this NHS of ours. I do not give up. I don’t want to give up. For me, for all workers, for all users. We are there for everyone, but you all must be there for us”.

Clare Servili Veterinary Director Asl Roma 4 wanted to remind Premier Meloni of the difficulty of women veterinarians: “Dear Giorgia – she underlined – we are exposed to further risks in a sector in which one is forced to work in the explained or in the food industries, with tasks of supervision and control and with roles that are often unwelcome to sector operators due to the economic implications that may derive from our actions. It often happens that you work in perfect solitude and with working hours well in excess of the 38 hours per week stipulated in the contract, sometimes in areas that are particularly difficult due to social and economic conditions or in areas with low legality. In these contexts it is easy to be subjected to aggression and intimidation (events that unfortunately often occur) and such actions are more frequent towards us women, considered more easily attacked. We strongly ask to be able to work in serenity – he concluded – but to do this it is essential that the funding of the NHS is reviewed which must allow for a recruitment plan consistent with the real need for personnel, an indispensable condition for being able to work in safety “.

December 15, 2022
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