by Claudio Maria Maffei
04 NOV –
professor Orazio Schillacithe new Minister of Health, has meritoriously accepted a long interview with Milena Gabanelli And Simona Ravizza for Dataroom of the Corriere della Sera. Here on QS a large excerpt of the interview was reported together with the video of the broadcast. The interview deserves a careful analysis because it can give us information on the role that the Government is entrusting to Professor Schillaci.
In the interview, the following issues were addressed, among others: the management of the pandemic, the shortage of medical personnel, the new local services and the relationship with private individuals. Unfortunately, on various issues, the statements of Professor Schillaci arouse more than a few perplexities.
On the pandemic, the Minister was somewhat vague (vagueness was a bit of a basic character of the Minister’s answers, the one that I imagine he himself will have often encountered in his students who are not yet well prepared) and has essentially took responsibility technique of decisions that are obviously policies. The decisions for which he has in practice assumed responsibility are three: the return to service of unvaccinated doctors, the abandonment of the publication of daily data on the pandemic and the choice to keep the use of masks when in the first time it had been the possibility of an abandonment of this measure was raised.
On the return of the doctors he made uncertain statements about the numbers at stake (no one in the end, neither interviewers nor interviewed, knew them well) and on the role of vaccines he did not give an answer to a very precise question: but we can trust doctors who don’t believe in science? He even went so far as to remember that maybe these are doctors who have made other vaccines (it may be, but what does that have to do with it?).
On the daily data he went to epidemiology saying that the weekly ones are more reliable and reassuring that they are still available to researchers. So it is not clear why Nino Cartabellotta stated here on QS that “from 30 October the daily publication of raw data on the repository officials who have so far fueled a virtuous collaboration process between researchers, civil society and institutions. “
Also on the reverse from the use of masks in health facilities, here is what the Republic wrote a few days ago: “The new executive was oriented not to renew the restrictive measure but, after the calls for caution and precaution arrived first of all by the President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella and then from the healthcare world and from various Regions, it was decided to extend and therefore to renew the obligation in hospitals and RSAs to protect the most vulnerable and the elderly. “
Our sober and measured President of the Republic would never have taken such a firm and explicit stance if he hadn’t heard government hypotheses circulating to cancel the obligation to wear masks in the hospital which expired on October 31st.
But with regard to the pandemic, the Minister was even more evasive when it came to answering the question of what were the anti-scientific measures taken according to (rather than saying, he almost shouted) the President Melons from the previous Government. Here Professor Schillaci practically pretended not to have understood the question trying to get away with stating that as a man of science he prefers to “look ahead”. When the question was reiterated, the Professor continued not to answer, limiting himself to saying that on parliamentary initiative there will be a commission of inquiry that will verify what has happened.
In order not to answer the question about the alleged ideological choices of the previous government on the subject of a pandemic, the Minister “misled” by recalling that health inequalities are a much more important problem. In short, it went off topic, as it was once said.
On the shortage of doctors, the Minister was much more at ease as he is well acquainted with the problems of planning specialist training as Dean. And this is certainly good. The only observation: on the need for better economic treatment of doctors in general and on those who work in Emergency Medicine, who does not agree? Except that to solve the problem we must take into account that the “word is enough” of the great Marcello Marchesi is not valid.
The three most worrying points of the interview, however, in my opinion concern the last issues touched upon: the Community Houses, general practitioners and the relationship with private structures.
On the Houses of the Community, he said that no decision has yet been taken and that there is an open dossier (what does this mean?). When asked about the transition to addiction for general practitioners, he said that “this here is another problem” and that they are very important figures. Even when asked about too low scholarships for general practitioners in training, he did not answer. Finally, when asked about the relationship with private individuals, all biased in their favor, he replied that “everyone must have their own space” and that the public system must be enhanced. When the question was asked again in colorful terms by Gabanelli who recalled how difficult things in the course of the pandemic have been “fanned” and “canned” by the public system, the Minister replied that … we will work on them.
In summary, we see that Professor Schillaci is still a novice, not with interviews, but with public health, which is a little more worrying. He certainly does not lack the desire to study and make himself available which pushes him to promote him for trust with sufficiency. The Minister must remember, however, that he does not have this role as a politician, but as a technician. Otherwise Professor Schillaci will end up playing out of role, risking to score an own goal in ours and his door, that of the National Health Service.
Claudio Maria Maffei
04 November 2022
© All rights reserved
Other articles in Letters to the editor