The Healthcare industry, which is already disturbed due to the pandemic for the past two years, is dealing with serious staff shortages; mainly because the hospitals have been running relying on staff that is already reduced to the end of their strengths, often trapped in shifts sometimes inhumane, under constant psycho-physical stress, to make up for the substantial COVID-19 emergency situation which persists to this day.
Doctors and nurses have sacrificed everything, even time for themselves and their families, but it is impossible to persevere in this direction, not only because of the extreme working conditions but also for a real "quality" of care.
There is a staff alarm, both in Italy and abroad, not only with respect to the inadequacy of the number of workers employed compared to the necessary ones but also due to a growing demand to take care of pre-existing diseases. The latter is happening mostly because of the interruptions in screening and delays in diagnosis that took place during the pandemic emergency situation.
This situation, therefore, demands the urgency of careful planning of the health system to encourage medical specialists and nursing personnel, to focus on the role that technology can play in the immediate future, which will relieve doctors and nurses from some of their tasks.
Solutions must be found, with far-sightedness; essentially we need managers who are capable of developing new health perspectives, who do not get lost in the systems that have always blocked this sector, and who can sensitize adequate interventions, with knowledge of the problems linked to each individual territory.
It is necessary to open up to multidisciplinarity, compensating for staff shortages, integrating new graduates and postgraduates, and hiring an adequate number of nurses per department. The resources to implement these plans can be easily identified, first of all, by eliminating the waste that has been perpetuated for years, breaking down rooted logic and old habits of hospital management.
What our hospitals are suffering from is not just a lack of staff, but an "overview", organizational and management skills, and, above all, "planning"!
Dr. Antonio Giordano, is the Founder & Director of Sbarro Health Research Organization at Temple University, College of Science and Technology, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
This article was also published in 'Sud Reporter' and here's the link.