Welcome back School Doctor!

by Antonio Pietroiusti, Professor of Workplace Safety in the Degree Course in Radiology, Diagnostic Images and Radiotherapy Techniques

In a recent interview with Repubblica Agostino Miozzo, Coordinator of the Technical Scientific Committee for the Coronavirus emergency, proposes, on behalf of the whole Committee, the restoration of the figure of the School Doctor to adequately face the foreseeable increase in the risk of spreading the virus due to the forthcoming reopening of schools.

As mentioned, this is precisely a restoration, because the School Doctor was a figure present in the 80s and 90s in the field of prevention programs in the area in charge of the Local Health Units, then suppressed both for budgetary reasons and for a redistribution of competences among the various figures of territorial prevention.

Certainly, in the context of the still ongoing health emergency (we remember that the state of emergency is currently extended until the middle of next October) the presence within the school of a reference figure with defined professional skills could prove to be crucial and reabsorb, among other things, the functions of the so-called “Covid Expert”, whose presence is expected in all schools, but whose skills do not appear to be precisely defined at the moment.

But what could be, in more detail, the main tasks of the School Doctor? Here, a distinction must be made between secondary education and university. In the first case, the prevention and protection activities of employees are carried out, in the context of the Coronavirus emergency, by the competent doctor, while the similar activities for students are entrusted to the General Practitioner or the Pediatrician of free choice (based on the age of the student). In the University context, on the other hand, at least for the Faculty of Medicine, both employees and students are managed by the Competent Doctor, as students are assimilated, in this respect, to workers.

Therefore, the School Doctor could have an important role in the prevention of the epidemic in secondary education institutions, acting as a link with the Competent Doctor more efficiently than the General Practitioner and the Pediatrician of free choice, who operate outside the school context and therefore do not have all the information tools derived from direct knowledge of the dynamics present in the place of study (e.g distribution of spaces, occasions and methods of aggregation, inter-student and learner-teacher interactions).

We therefore wait for the good intentions to result in an operation that clearly defines the areas of action of this second edition of the School Doctor.

Antonio Pietroiusti is Professor of Workplace Safety in the Degree Course in Radiology, Diagnostic Imaging and Radiotherapy Techniques and teaches Occupational Medicine in three UniCamillus Online Masters: Management for the coordination functions in the area of Healthcare Professions; Deglutology and Related Disorders; Clinical Posturology.

The Masters aim to train highly qualified figures through a transversal and interdisciplinary educational offer.

The lessons are delivered completely in e-learning mode with the possibility of accessing the platform 24 hours a day and using, at any time, all the teaching material made available by the teaching staff.

For more information about the Masters click HERE