Shortage of nurses, Regional Committee says: “Increase the number of places in the Universities”

Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted all the issues of the national healthcare system, first of all the deficit of the healthcare professionals able to cope with the emergency without adding structural fragility to the system.
The photos of the hospitals at the collapse, those of physicians and nurses exhausted because of the too long shifts, are always associated with the virus spread, as well as the number of deaths among the healthcare professionals who had serious symptoms after having contracted Covid-19 is a painful warning.
For this reason, the Lazio Regional Committee of the Nurses Professional Association had decided to write to the President of the Lazio Region, Nicola Zingaretti, and to the Healthcare Assessor Alessio D’Amato, to ask for “a significant increase, starting from the next academic year, of the places available in the Nursing Sciences Degree Courses”.
“Sars-Cov-2 pandemic – one can read in the letter – is underlining the dangerous shortage, occurred  for many years, of nurses professionals in our country, and in particular in Lazio; the current health emergency is showing it in all its gravity”.

“The heavy hiring that has taken place in the public healthcare facilities” in the Lazio region “during the last year, determined the complete utilisation of the licensed professionals available and a big loss of the employees in many affiliated healthcare facilities, especially in the RSA” (i.e., home for elderly) – says Maurizio Zega, President of the Nurses Professional Association in Rome.

This leads to searching for employees “turning to cooperatives, temp agencies, companies of associated professionals, trying to hire nurses from abroad, however with poor results”.

“The bodies for the professional representation have urged for many years the Ministry, consequently the Universities, in order to educate a much higher number of nurses to satisfy the increasing demand”; thus, the invitation to the Lazio Region administration for being a promoter of the rise of the places available, starting already from the next Academic Year and “to open new branches in the region, in all those facilities provided for by the current legislation”.“If immediate action is not taken” to offer companies and healthcare facilities help for the development of the educational network during the years, “we will see a slow but inevitable reduction in the number of the educating people in our Region – Zega concludes – making it difficult to reach the qualitative and quantitative standards requested not only by the hospitals, but also by the territory; as it was predicted and demonstrated, it represents the future of the regional and national healthcare system”.