Hospitals, departments at risk due to the fault of the health workers no vax

Hospitals, departments at risk due to the fault of the health workers no vax
Hospitals, departments at risk due to the fault of the health workers no vax

Stefano Rizzi 07:00 Saturday 04 September 2021

Icardi raises the alarm and asks the local health authorities for an impact forecast on services. Difficult to find substitutes, the Regions ready to solicit the intervention of Minister Speranza. The former prosecutor Rinaudo writes to the Orders: “Suspend the unvaccinated without exception”

Healthcare personnel who insist on not getting vaccinated not only violate the law, but risk causing the closure of some hospital wards or the reduction of their activity, preventing them from providing care and services to those in need. Meanwhile, doctors, nurses, social and health workers no vax resign themselves: the suspension from the profession by the respective Orders must be “full and unconditional”, thus sweeping away softer interpretations such as the one chosen by the Turin Medical Association.

That not being able to count on over three thousand employees of the regional health system to be recipients of the suspension from work (and salary) measures has repercussions was clear from the beginning, or from April when the decree then converted into law established the obligation vaccination for health care personnel and measures to combat contagion against those who have decided not to comply with that obligation. Now, when there are still few suspensions from work compared to the number of vaccine dodgers, the problem is exploding. And it will get worse and worse. “This is why I asked the healthcare companies and hospitals to have an impact assessment within a maximum of one week, or what can happen in the various departments and services where the staff is reduced due to no vax”, explains the councilor for Health Luigi Icardi. Already today there would be a couple of dialysis wards in difficulty in Piedmont and it is only a dramatic alarm bell, but also – let’s face it clearly – a heavy indictment and equally heavy lack of responsibility towards those who should put health first of the people he is called to take care of in front of everything and instead he does not.

It is useless to go around it, what now looks like blackmail – or you make us work even without being vaccinated, or the health system will suffer severe repercussions – is something unacceptable. Icardi himself specifies that “I never thought of opening hospitals and clinics to unvaccinated personnel. Not only could I not do it, but I wouldn’t want to either. I am the councilor for health and I have to guarantee it to citizens. There is a law and it must be respected. This does not mean denying a problem, linked to the reduction of personnel, which the Piedmont region as well as the others cannot solve without government intervention ”.

The commissioner for the vaccination campaign has put pen to paper in a letter to all the professional associations involved that the law must not only be respected, but also applied correctly. Antonio Rinaudo. The position of the former magistrate immediately appeared the most decisive, also allowing some to glimpse a difference (which perhaps there is) compared to the councilor in the approach to a question that cannot lend itself to doubts or interpretations of convenience.

The man of the law and the politician, but the point remains the same: there can be no loopholes for those who trusting in the long-term application of the law and its effects by Piedmont, the penultimate region in this ranking, has perhaps imagined to be able to remain in place until the expiry of the measure, on 31 December, although it will almost certainly be renewed. Meanwhile, every month that passes the job and the salary are guaranteed, in defiance of a law for the protection of citizens’ health.

“Vaccination is an essential requirement for the exercise of the profession and for the performance of the work of the obliged subjects – writes Rinaudo in the letter sent to the professional associations -. As far as professional associations are concerned, the law does not limit the suspension to the performance of those services or duties that involve interpersonal contacts. This requirement is placed on the employer in assessing the possibility of remittance. For the Order, the provision that vaccination is an essential requirement for the exercise of the profession applies, similarly to possession of the qualification. It follows – explains the former prosecutor – that the health worker who in the absence of the vaccination requirement, continues to exercise the profession could incur in violation of the provisions of art. 348 of the Criminal Code “.

Not only that, the former magistrate warns both Orders and employers: “It is recalled that, pursuant to the third paragraph of the article in question, a custodial and monetary penalty is envisaged against the professional who has determined others to commit the crime, or directed the activity of the people who participated in the crime itself “. In short, if the Orders did not suspend their no vax members without exception and if the ASL did not use them for tasks that do not involve risk of contagion or suspend them they would incur criminal penalties. And if, as the commissioner still observes, “Failure to vaccinate constitutes inability to exercise the health profession due to the pre-eminent public importance of guarantee and control that is required”, it is easy to imagine how difficult it is to assign doctors and nurses to other tasks.

Every appeal so far presented before the various TARs in the country has been rejected, so the health workers who are not immunized either get vaccinated or stay at home. And if the latter option will lead to serious consequences for the health system with the closure of some departments, “in the event that the impact assessments requested from the health companies envisage the possible interruption of essential and of primary importance services, I will contact the Minister of Health , together with colleagues from other regions who are all in the same situation – announces Icardi – and he will have to provide the solution ”. On Tuesday in the Health Committee of the Conference of the Regions this will be the topic on the agenda.

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