Head of Doctors' Guild meets Rome's foreign press

 ROME – Speaking at an online press conference reserved for correspondents of the foreign press in Italy, and moderated by Romanian journalist Julia Sandra Virsta, the president of FNOMCeO, the association of Italian physicians, the Apulian Mr. Filippo Anelli expressed "the full solidarity, mine and the FNOMCeO, to all Italian doctors, forced, in this difficult moment, together with other health professionals, to support the National Health Service on their shoulders, paying for shortcomings and inefficiencies, organizational and systemic, due to the policies of the past years, which considered health as a ground for savings and not as a resource on which to invest."

 Anelli recalled the last two victims, family doctors Domenico Pacilio, from Naples, and Giorgio Drago, on the day when the number of colleagues who died due to Covid rose to 188. And he cited the alarm cry of the Cimo-Fesmed union, which calls for a lockdown to curb infections and avoid the "explosion" of hospitals. Added to this is the complaint of internists, geriatricians and internal medicine nurses, who note that the hospitals are now close to collapse, due to a shortage of staff and lack of beds in the face of the abnormal influx of patients. While association Agenas warns: in Italy, 52 per cent of hospitalizations in non-critical area of hospitals concerns Covid patients, 37 per cent in intensive care.

 It is no better in the area, where general practitioners carry on their work in solitude, harnessed in organizational models that are now superseded by the reality of the facts. And, at times, denigrated by the media, with the only comfort of the patients' gratitude. Anelli recalled how the organization of local services is the same as twenty years ago, while, in all this time, new health professions have been born; enormous scientific, clinical, technological advances have been made; the demography of the general population has changed, with aging and an increase in chronicity, as well as medical ones, with a shortage of general practitioners due to retirements not compensated by new entries.  And, in this very mobile scenario, the general practitioner is always, in the collective imagination but also in fact, the old doctor, armed with a bag and a stethoscope.

 Answering numerous questions from foreign media journalists, Anelli said that the time has come for blow, which brings out this dark but effective work, which, even with this scarcity of resources, saves thousands of lives every day, and that it is now necessary to collaborate with other professions, supporting the family doctor, the nurse, the psychologist, the midwife, the physiotherapist, the radiology technician, the health assistant, the administrative and study staff. It's time to coordinate them with outpatient specialists; to network them with 118 and hospital colleagues. It is time to equip them with adequate structures and equipment, to put them in a position to prescribe the most appropriate therapies and to take advantage of all the possibilities offered by telemedicine and new technologies. Because it is not just a way of saying that unity is strength. Unity among professionals, solidarity between different actors, harmony with citizens is the only key that will open the doors to get out of the pandemic. And it is a citizen's right to have at their disposal, with the greatest possible proximity and capillarity, and with the maximum synergy, the best skills for their health when and where they need them. “There are doctors, faithful to the values ​​of their Oath, just as - we are sure - there are other health professionals,” he said.“But one cannot always count on the availability of the individual, perhaps criticizing him and pointing to him because he gets a fair financial reward for his work. Without thinking about the contracts and conventions that have been inactive for ten years, overtime, for unpaid hospitals, unused holidays. “True, it is the people who make the system. But it is, on the other hand, the system that must recognize and enhance, also concretely, the role of health professionals, investing in the human capital of our national health service. Health service that has held up so far thanks to the strength, ideas and also the sacrifices of doctors and other operators.

 Responding to a correspondent's question, Anelli stated that his organization is willing to make the maximum possible contribution when the newly announced Covid vaccine is available for delivery in Italy, also given its particular need for very particular logistics.