It is true that there is a shortage of human resources to work physically there. That’s right, with Covid things just got worse. It is equally true that shifts are becoming stressful and that none of the new “recruits” are accepting a place in hospital emergency departments anymore. But is it really that ERs are set to be on the verge of collapse? The answer is no. The first real problem lies elsewhere: the truth is that emergency rooms have simultaneously become branches of GP surgeries, substitutes for medical guards, and centers for examinations that could take weeks if not followed the normal course. months. Punishment? Everyone goes to the emergency room now, not those who really need it. This is where the real bottleneck is created.
Speaking, and protecting his identity for obvious business reasons, he is a high-ranking professional working in the emergency room of Friuli Venezia Giulia. It has a painful cross section that opens the eyes. “That’s right – the busy doctor explains day and night in emergency management – we are practically without staff everywhere. But our anxiety often turns into something else. Just a few days ago, he says, a boy came to the emergency room with a bad cough. He had completed all the correct steps to perform the diagnostic tests, but the first appointment was set for him after 20 days. Meanwhile, the cough didn’t go away, so he decided to get to the emergency system, even if it wasn’t, in fact, a real urgency. “Actually, he came to the emergency room for an x-ray, which was actually done – explains the emergency specialist -. Can he take another route? The answer is yes but with us he found the same examination right away ». And such a story there are dozens of them each Day People who go to the emergency room because they are afraid of symptoms that are not always severe, but have not found the necessary support in the area.The test is set too far, perhaps a GP is not easily accessible, a medical guard does not respond or is not present in this Shift In this way the emergency room is “clogged” with another white symbol (which is the least dangerous of all) whose practical purpose is only to get an answer to a concern.
“This way – explains the emergency room specialist – times expand significantly.” With the echo reaching even patients who instead come to the emergency room for “real” reasons, more appropriate to the ward in which they are located. Certainly – continues the analysis – some code should not have come to us. Then there is another aspect that puts the emergency department in a difficult situation every day. This is from the “movement” that comes from homes for the elderly and in general from the homes of the elderly. “Too often – as shown – we receive elderly patients for whom we cannot do much more than is actually possible or would be possible in the nursing homes themselves.”
Where then is the main problem? “Family doctors – they continue to the professional – cannot be employed in emergency situations, which in his case would correspond to the white codes. If I call my primary care doctor, I may be lucky and they will pick me up right away. Otherwise, I will make an appointment. The problem for the medical guards is much greater, because their number is small even over a large area.” However, the province has launched a reform that, once fully operational, will allow the regional health network to be strengthened. “Hopefully – is the bottom line of the analysis – the new community hospitals can at least partially solve the problem.”
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