European Union of Private Hospitals

Restarting the activity after the lockdown

MAY 2020 – From the 4th of May, less restrictive measures adopted by the Italian Government, allowed the citizens to put their lives back together, in a very slow and controlled way.

All these new measures brought the Country to the end of the lockdown situation, and the population is now gradually re-starting its daily activities, with the situation that seems under control, and the Covid-19 related contagion that in the center-south regions reached its minimal values – in terms of new infections – from the beginning of the emergency situation. This brought Mr. Brusaferro, President of the National Institute of Health, to declare that “the number of cases is coming down to a low level in all of Italy’s regions, including Lombardy”.
As everybody knows, from the first days of March 2020, each Italian region, with and official ruling of their own President, followed the Ministry of Health’ indications and decided to stop the ordinary and non-urgent activities of the public and private hospitals, in order to make them ready in case of necessity of supplementary beds and medical staff. These decisions negatively affected the activity and the economic sustainability of a significant number of private hospitals, especially in certain southern regions (for example: Calabria) where the contagion has spread below the initial expectations. Despite the end of the “critical” Phase 1, not all the Regions yet authorized the recovery of the ordinary and non-urgent activity, and for this reason, the Italian Association of Private Hospitals addressed a letter to the Ministry of Health, Mr. Roberto Speranza, and to the President of the State-Regions Conference, Mr. Stefano Bonaccini, asking for a concrete intervention in favour of a complete re-start of the listed above activities. The Italian Association of Private Hospitals is also conducting several government affairs activities, in order to favour the communication with the Government, and explain to the Minister of Health and the Minister of Economy what is the real economic situation of a big part of private hospitals, that definitely deserves to be recipients of economic aid. These activities are also aimed to favour the total inclusion of physicians and health professionals of private hospitals in the serological screening activities launched and covered by the competent territorial health authority, that in certain Regions/Provinces, have been addressed only to the personnel of public hospitals, leaving to private hospitals the economic and organisational burden of and independent organisation.
The role of the Italian private hospitals, during the Phase 1 of the emergency, has been crucial in all the 20 Regions, with a massive contribution in terms of ICU beds. In fact, the private hospitals sector, during the Covid-19 emergency made available 958 ICU and Sub-Intensive Covid-19 beds, 9.401 long-term Covid-19 beds and 25.103 no-Covid beds. These numbers testifies the important part played by private hospitals during the hardest part of the emergency, in Regions like Lombardy, where we assisted everyday to a huge number (hundreds) of contagion.
In Lazio Region, for example, the contagion are now growing very slowly, with an average of 20 daily cases for the entire Region, half of whom are detected and distributed in the territory of the city of Rome.
In general, life in Italy is trying to re-start, with a general re-opening of the largest part of our commercial activities, even if, a significant part of big companies (multinationals and consultancies) announced that they will not re-open their offices before the next September, in order to proceed in the most safe way possible.