The commissioner – right arm of the president of the regional council Attilio Fontana (League) on the Covid-19 front – pronounced those words on June 24, during the online conference entitled “The new health: investments, health spending and contribution to Digital Health”. He said: “The Lombard system is a unique and highly excellent system: it has put public and private in a system of competition and collaboration. We want to continue on this path because in the phase of the epidemic the private individual immediately made himself available and with a great capacity: it is a great strength because the private sector stimulates the public and this makes us stronger and more attractive “. Then, after underlining the thaumaturgical and stimulating effect of private entrepreneurs, he mentioned the “ordinary patients” generously admitted to luxury, when “the hospitals were flooded with Covid patients”.
Aside from the tragicomic side of the claims – made in a region where the coronavirus has resulted a massacre ((to date there are almost 17,000 victims) on which the judiciary is investigating – the intervention of Gallera confirms that the Lombard Council, led for decades by Berlusconi and League leaders, has no intention of change line. Yet that system (which responds to a legislative framework under which the Regions plan and manage healthcare autonomously) has caused a clear effect: the richest and most industrialized area in Italy has been the most damaged by the virus in Europe.
Obviously, no one can underestimate the extraordinary commitment shown by those who fought against Covid-19 in public and private health facilities, even at the risk of their lives. So much so that it was the orders of doctors and the Italian Federation of general practitioners (family) to underline that there was an abyss between those who manage regional health politically and those who work in hospitals, medical offices, direct assistance and outpatient clinics. The fact is that the Lombard health system, acclaimed for its specialist services, has caught on in the presence of epidemic: extraordinary, but foreseen, as an eventuality, by experts in Epidemiology.
Why did it happen? Precisely because Lombard health has been set for years in the way Gallera boasts. In fact, there are many hospitals in Lombardy high level: private, affiliated with the Region, or public. But the virus has highlighted that it no longer exists a valid basic and preventive health organization: the one that reduces hospital admissions. You therefore pay for the fact that for more than twenty years, that is, since the rise to the top, in 1995, of Roberto Formigoni (Berlusconi and Ciellino, in the saddle until 2013) to date, in Lombardy more than elsewhere everything has been done to encourage the treatment of very profitable diseases (dear to fans of privatization), neglecting or even neglecting epidemiological surveillance. With the result that in the early stages of the pandemic, and at least until March 2 (other than immediate availability of private individuals, they received a request …), the only structures in the front line were public ones.
Why were none of the private structures affiliated with the Lombard Social Health System (SSL), financed with public money, ready, even though they represent more than half more than the hospitals in Lombardy (until 1997 they were in a clear minority)? Maria Elisa Sartor, contract professor in the Department of Clinical and Community Sciences of the University of Milan, in an interview with Strisciarossa He said: “All this has happened in the Italian region which has conceived the so-called” equal participation of private health in the Lombardy health service “as the fulcrum and bearing element of its model. Instead, to guarantee the health of the community, real public health is needed, of course well governed. But this approach is just the opposite of that supported and launched from 1997 onwards. We must really hope that, after this experience, the course of the Lombardy regional health system will be drastically changed “.
Too bad that according to Councilor Gallera, and also for President Attilio Fontana and his junta, everything is fine as it is, with the support of the leaders of Forza Italia and the Salvini League. In the meantime, a question arises spontaneously: it will be accidental that in the last twenty years there has not been a regional legislature spared from investigations on various “health bribes” and that Formigoni, “father” of the business model, has been definitively sentenced to 5 years and 10 months for a case of this kind? Perhaps, the answer is “No”.