The true story of the hospital at the fair that the government now wants to copy too

That thehospital at the fair in Milan it hasn’t helped, or almost nothing, it’s a fact. Out of 160 available beds, created in a few days by the Fontana-Bertolaso ​​duo, only 26 were occupied by Covid-19 patients. “They spent 21 million on 25 patients,” thundered the grill Riccardo Ricciardi in the House in recent days. The Milan prosecutor has opened a file. The Guardia di Finanza went to visit the hospital on time like a Swiss watch. And the idea that what seemed to be an “Italian miracle” is actually being revealed in the most tragic of flops is becoming increasingly widespread. Seen from this point of view, it would be better to spread a pitiful sheet. And to agree with Ricciardi.

Too bad that, as usual, we tend to observe events with too many blinkers and little memory. Today it is easy to say “we could not even build it”, much more difficult was to make a similar decision in the days of chaos coronavirus. Let’s try to jump back in time. March 1 Republic, certainly not a Northern League newspaper, summed up those tragic hours: “The urgency today is to strengthen the most fragile part of the health system: intensive care or intensive care”. The chronicles tell it very well. The anesthesiologists were precepted in intensive care , leaving the other departments unattended. Emergency rooms were taken by storm. People died like flies. Intensive care beds throughout Italy were just over 5 thousand, many of which were already occupied. And the company that represents the resuscitators. , Siaarti, emitted a document to suggest reserving (few) respirators for young people and people most likely to survive, sacrificing the elderly and chronically ill. It is no coincidence that the Ministry of Health, in a circular dated March 1, asked all regions, including Lombardy, to increase IT beds by 50 percent. The hospitals in the area had already done everything possible: from the Spedali Civili of Brescia to San Matteo of Pavia, from Pope Giovanni XXIII of Bergamo to the hospital of Cremona, all tried to increase the beds where possible, recovering the respirators that – in the meantime – the Civil Protection delayed to buy. But everything seemed useless. It was in this context that Pirellone’s idea of ​​investing private (non-public) money in the hospital at the Fair was born. It has also called Mario Monti (another Northern League?): “At that time there was a need for intensive care, it was built with private funds and with popular consent.” Amen.

Among the detractors of the Lombard model, however, there is obviously the Pd local, which by voice of the group leader of Fabio Pizzul he defined it “the plastic representation of the project failure” of the Region in the management of the emergency. Too bad that a few kilometers more a there, the party colleague and governor of the Marche, Luca Ceriscioli, has created a “spaceship” identical to the Lombard one. Even the hospital of Civitanova Marche (80 beds) is currently unused, but the little boy does not intend to back off. The reason? The same that pushes Fontana and Gallera to consider it useful in view of a possible return of the virus in October: “It is good to have a reserve of resuscitations in case of need”.

After all, the is also doing the same Germany, often drawn as the beautiful and good older sister. Today Berlin has 32,537 intensive care places and “only” 11,857 are busy. In mid-April the Minister of Health, Jens Spahan, informed that 25-30% of places will still be reserved for Covid patients despite the virus regression. This means that most of the beds, for now 20 thousand, are and will remain empty, waiting for worse times. Why then are scandalized if Lombardy and the Marches keep a reserve ready for use? “We always say that there is not enough prevention – said Ceriscioli – then the day we make a choice that protects us from a risk, this becomes a mistake. I think having more places available is a resource, not a problem “.

In fact, despite repeated attacks on Pirellone, the government also thinks the same way. This is demonstrated by Article 2 of the Relaunch Decree just fired by the Council of Ministers on the “Reorganization of the hospital network”. The text speaks of the risk of an upsurge in October, of the need to prevent the worst, and therefore to create hospital structures to cope with a second wave of infections. The Regions, says the government, must guarantee “hospitalized activities in Intensive care and in areas of care-intensive assistance, making the response to the significant increase in the demand for assistance structural in relation to the subsequent management phases of the epidemiological situation related to the SarsCoV-2 virus, its outcomes and any sudden increases in the pandemic curve “For this reason, the provision of at least 3,500 intensive care beds must be made structural” and, above all, are made available “300 beds of intensive care, divided into 4 movable structures, each of which has 75 beds, to be allocated in equipped areas previously identified by each region and autonomous province. “In practice like Lombardy (and Marche). Why those” spaceships “maybe they won’t be needed, and then we will all be happy. But an old saying is always valid: prevention is better than cure, even if it costs 21 million euros. Moreover, all private.