Enlisted by the task force of former Commissioner Arcuri, he took up service on behalf of the South East Tuscany Local Health Authority at the Aurelia Antica vaccination center on 15 February. Strengthened by his long experience abroad, he gladly accepted to share his considerations on the vaccination plan and its application with Il Tirreno. Graduated in medicine and surgery in Pisa in 1981, specialized in tropical medicine, in Rome in 1985, he worked mainly abroad, dividing himself between the work of a doctor and that of a professional photographer. At the end of the eighties he was with Eni, in North Africa, as a doctor in the yards of the oil fields, and in the Persian Gulf, inside oil industrial areas, then he worked as a ship’s doctor on passenger ships. In 1995 he suspended his medical activity to devote himself to photography, also working for the European Union and UNESCO, among other things, in important international projects. He has been to Palestine, the Fiji Islands and Europe, alternating between medicine and photography, since in 2005 he resumed his profession, dealing with travel medicine. In particular in London, where an international research center on traveller’s diseases is based. He also lived for a long time in France, before moving permanently to the USA, to the State of Washington, United States.
At what moment did you decide to return to Italy?«In 2020, in full pandemic. From the United States I obviously follow the events of my country, so when I saw that in Italy they needed professionals for vaccinations, being still enrolled in the Medical Association of Grosseto, I applied. After that I was contacted by an external company who put me on the list of available doctors. When they called me, I boarded a Covid-free flight from Seattle, after having swabbed several times, which allowed me not to have to undergo quarantine upon my arrival in Rome on February 6. I was assigned to the Aurelia Antica center and from February 15th I started working. Like all other doctors, I take care of carrying out the anamnesis, that is the reconstruction of the clinical history of those who come to get vaccinated ».
What do you think of the vaccination campaign in Italy and Tuscany?
“Compared to other countries, it started in trouble, first because there was no regular distribution of vaccines, then because the Astrazeneca serum was suspended. This fact has dealt a huge blow to vaccinations. It is difficult to make consistent planning if there is no certainty of drug delivery. Instead, now that vaccines are arriving and others will arrive in large quantities, there is a shortage of staff, especially doctors who have been assigned a task that takes time and slows down their work ”.
Explain better …
«Let’s take the example of Grosseto. At the Aurelia Antica there are 250 appointments per shift, in three doctors. So a little less than 100 anamnestic cards each. It would take at least a fourth professional to speed up the procedures, because a few minutes are not enough to take the medical history of a person never seen before, who sometimes does not have a clear clinical history. Fortunately, volunteers give us medical support once or twice a week, but the problem cannot be solved that way. The risk is to do a disservice to citizens having little time available to communicate with them. I pointed this out to the ASL who replied that there are no professionals available ».
And what could be the solution?
“More doctors are needed, or the Ministry of Health eliminates the passage of the medical history, as happens in other countries. In the United States, for example, people can go straight to get vaccinated without necessarily being seen by a doctor. I myself got vaccinated, in November 2020, in a pharmacy inside a supermarket. I just had to sign a sheet to certify that the serum had been administered ».
But isn’t the anamnestic form an extra security for citizens?
«Yes, if it is done well and in the necessary time, while we have a few minutes available that we must avoid exceeding in order not to create queues outside the centers, as happens at Aurelia Antica. The regional portal records appointments every few minutes, people show up at the appointed time, but if the scrolling slows down, a queue is created outside, dangerous for those who have to be vaccinated and for those who are at work. The situation is destined to worsen if the staff is not increased or the system in place does not change ». –
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