After the large public demonstration and the resolution passed by the Venice City Council, the Region says it will act.
By Tomaso Borzoni
4 April 2019
VENEZIA. Only half satisfied. The news that the Region and State Governments are working towards leaving the Ospedale Civile in its current classification as a network hospital is not enough for the organizers of Sunday’s large demonstration. Now they are waiting for concrete actions, and calling for a comprehensive relaunching of the hospital. “We are not claiming victory yet, because if they cut the doctors one at a time then the question has not changed. We need to keep a close watch on this day by day because this isn’t a quick skirmish, it’s a kind of Afghanistan in which you must constantly remain in the trenches because it will last for years” explains Matteo Secchi of venessia.com. “If they leave the Ospedale Civile with its classification as a network hospital that’s fine with us – adds Salvatore Lihard of the “Movement for the defense of Venetian health” – Certainly then we need to look at the specific specialties. Anyway there is a plan B: the Civile could be merged with the Angelo [the Ospedale dell’Angelo in Mestre: ed.], as a hub hospital with two locations. So, there are solutions. And to think that until yesterday, before the demonstration, it seemed impossible!”
There was much satisfaction, and many distinctions as well among the many associations that joined the appeal for Sunday’s demonstration. Today a delegation could be found in front of Palazzo Ferro Fini, where the regional schedules are first processed by a commission. The appointment is for 12, and a meeting with the group leaders will follow. “I would say that it’s positive that the Region has reversed itself – emphasized Francesco Orlandi of the Biri Biri association – The demonstration was a big deal, with such a big turnout – you don’t often see that many Venetians together. Calculating the efficiency of the hospital based on the number of residents is absurd; it makes you think you must live in another country. It’s illogical to downgrade a hospital of this sort, however, now we’ll wait for developments. As my friend Matteo (Secchi) said, we’ll find out. Considering that Venice is a city with a high median age, a series of considerations are necessary: doctors – this is a problem common to the rest of the hospitals – number of beds available, and the general reduction in local hospital care”. Gianni De Checci, secretary of the Confartigianato is only partially happy: “On Sunday it was nice to see a united Venice which has answered a call regarding a vital subject in a healthy way. The city has rebelled not so much against the technicality as the image: the capital of the Region cannot have its hospital be dismantled and disqualified. It’s good that the Region is re-evaluating, that is what we Venetians want, however I hope there are no surprises hidden in bureaucratic loopholes or behind the rules, and that there isn’t a loss of funding and desirability. I believe that the Mayor and the Council are trying to bring the whole package home”. Marco Caberlotto, speaking for Generazione ’90, adds: “I’m happy that, fortunately, the hospital will remain in network. This means that the Region is committed, on paper, but it remains to be seen if the commitment is substantial or formal. For now there is only partial satisfaction, and we need to move on to actions”. Marco Gasparinetti, of Gruppo 25 Aprile, emphasizes: “We have produced reliable estimates demonstrating that in Venice there are almost 180,000 people each day, between commuters, tourists, students of all types, residents and owners of second homes. The hospital is there to guarantee care to all these people. We support the work of the City Council and the motion that was passed in defense of the hospital, because Venice must have a hospital of excellence. Regarding this we stand with the Mayor. This is not a factional fight. In fact it’s important that the Region understands that the whole city is behind this work. The associations have demonstrated that they are united in defending the hospital, and this is the main objective”.
Among the comments there are also those of the Honorable Nicola Pellicani (PD), who was in the plaza on Sunday and is a signatory of a request sent to the Minister of Health regarding the Civile: “This is the first effect of the demonstration and it should be noted. It’s a sign of responsibility on the part of the Region, which it is now time to make concrete”.
Source: Il Gazzettino