Venice, the Ospedale Civile neonatal unit is on the brink of closing

NOTE: This story is an important and very troubling sign of the population decline in Venice and across the region, as also described in the recent story about the decline in youth population.

Less than 500 births per year, the Health Minister lists the unit as at-risk: as in Asiago, Valdagno and Trecenta

In Veneto there are seven neonatal units hanging by a thread. They are those of Venice (Civic Hospital), Piove di Sacco, Pieve di Cadore, Asiago, Valdagno, Adria and Trecenta. The Health Minister has listed them as Class 2, the category characterized by an annual number of births less than 500, and by “difficult conditions or geography”, and prescribes closing them, judging them to be insecure for management and unsustainable regarding expenses.

A traumatic epilogue, above all in the lagoon’s historic center and in the mountain regions, that the Region has tried to avert ‘in extremis’ with a request for an exception to the national Committee on Births, the authority which has the final say. The Zaia Administration has approved a proposal to reorganize neonatal care and centers. At the base of the problem is the marked decline in births regionally, down from 48,000 to 35,000 last year. The ‘key’ identified by Health Director Domenico Mantoan to avoid the wholesale closure of these faltering departments is that of staff turnover combined with a strict respect for the hierarchy of the neonatal units, calibrated by clinical problems. So, the activity of the fated clinics must be limited to “pregnancies and births that are not complicated and normal births with minimum pregnancy duration of 37 weeks”, such, that is that “don’t require higher levels of technological or medical intervention for the mother and fetus.” Resized in skills, they will be guaranteed – and here is something new – the “24 hour presence of a midwife and the presence of a pediatrician at least three hours a day in the nursery.”

Source: La Nuova di Venezia, Jan. 13, 2017

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