Over seventy and without specializations: the Nas discover 165 irregular health workers supplied by the cooperatives

A Catania, in an emergency department, a coop employed doctors who had never specialized in the emergency and urgency sectors. The same that provided untitled auxiliary personnel to the Surgery Operational Unit but officially declaring it as Obs. TO Vercelli there were those who sent professionals over 70 to the hospital – an age higher than that established by the contracts – including some general practitioners, to the obstetrics and gynecology department. Not properly trained, they weren’t even able to perform caesarean sections. These are some of the critical issues discovered by the Nas carabinieri in an operation which, since November, has provided for checks in hospitals e Rsa throughout Italy, bringing to light irregularities in 165 job positions. Under accusation the system of work services for contracted health figures a cooperative which, according to the medical unions, has led to a situation from far west.

The checks, explain the Nas, were carried out in hospitals and nursing homes, structures which “in order to make up for the lack of personnel and guarantee the minimum provision of care and assistance services, increasingly resort to procurement contracts to make use of healthcare professionals – doctors, nurses and healthcare operators – provided by external companies, usually attributable to cooperatives”. Accesses have been made at 1,934 health facilitiesmonitoring 637 private companies/cooperatives and verifying the suitability of over 11.600 figure among doctors (13%), nurses (25%) and other health professions (62%). The military reported altogether 205 peopleincluding managers of cooperatives, owners of health facilities and health workers, of which 83 to the Judicial Authority and 122 to the Administrative Authority.

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There are also many cases of abusive exercise of the profession (43 operators) in particular in carrying out nursing activities in the absence of enrollment in the register and without the recognition of qualifications acquired abroad. An alarming picture that highlights the critical issues of the cooperative procurement system, denounces the largest of the hospital doctors’ unions, Anaao-Assomed. The cooperative system, says the Anaao secretary Pierino Di Silverio, has determined “a real professional Wild West in Healthcare, with a deconstruction of the profession: qualifications no longer count but what matters is covering the shifts, and in hospitals or RSA it is like being on an assembly line”. In the face of this situation, according to the union leader, there are three urgent measures to be taken: “First of all, give a signal to doctors by thinking of a flat tax with a reduction in fees also for doctors in the National Health Service; think up a new working model with fewer ties; create working and organizational conditions that make the public system more attractive”.

The president of the Federation of Medical Orders (Fnomceo) is also critical Philip Rings: “The system of cooperatives and coin-operated doctors is the consequence of a Healthcare that no longer values ​​the professions, and which has become increasingly less attractive for the professionals themselves, but it is at the same time true that it is up to the general managers to supervise and verify that professionals employed in hospitals have all the necessary qualifications”. In Italy, remember, we have 4 doctors per 1000 inhabitants, a higher number than in Spain, England and France. There are therefore many doctors “but the real problem is the unattractiveness of public health, so in the end many doctors decide to go to work abroad where they earn more or move into the private sector with various benefits. And the result – he concludes – are distortions such as those discovered by the Nas, to the detriment of citizens and the sick”.

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