Covid-19. What we have learned from the pandemic.

The rethinking of the public health system has become an issue to be urgently addressed as a consequence of what just happened in the past few years.

There is the need to encourage change by implementing new experiences, in terms of flexibility, which have emerged during the Covid-19 period. Such experiences could easily be dispersed, rather than strengthened, by returning to normality. This issue appears to be a priority under several profiles: first of all, the reform of the universities aimed at changing the current organization of the Faculty of Medicine and at ensuring a faster academic path for young students.

It would thus become possible to introduce the students, in a more effective way, into the healthcare system, which should therefore receive not only competent and already trained young people, but also flexible ones capable of taking into account the unstoppable development of medical research and technology. The Covid-19 vicissitudes, which have severely affected older people, highlight the problems related to ageing, emphasizing also the need to develop proper actions for its management. This includes the construction of suitable structures to accommodate, those who lose both capacity and independence, in dignified conditions. In this regard, the proposed introduction of new territorial facilities, such as community homes and community hospitals, should be carefully considered in order to strengthen home care, accompanied by the development of telemedicine. Indeed, the strengthening of the national healthcare system in providing innovative services in the area, could be achieved through a series of legal instruments including greater skills and less bureaucracy. At present, in this matter, the reorganization of the Institutes of Hospitalization and Scientific Care, seems to be lacking proper legislation that envisages and regulates the relationship with the universities.

The need to acquire managerial skills for healthcare professionals is very clear and obvious. They should be prepared, as stated in mission document 6 of the PNRR plan, to “face current and future challenges in an integrated, sustainable, innovative, flexible and always oriented perspective to the result”. For these purposes, the possibility of establishing, at national level, a body representing the national health system managers, should be carefully considered.

Finally, a shared model for the home care provision should be identified, taking into account the need to strengthen the intermediate care delivery, which is entrusted to the newly established community hospitals, community homes together with the development of telemedicine. This last issue, regarding the implementation of telemedicine, requires close attention in order to intervene on the training of the current medical professionals, who are thus called to increase their skills and their willingness to change.

From an operational point of view, this is perhaps the most necessary and immediate innovation: updating not only from a medical point of view but also from an organizational one.

Lastly, the “Covid affair” emphasized the serious problem of how to communicate in an effective way, when people’s health is at immediate risk.


Fabio Roversi-Monaco
President Genus Bononiae. Musei nella Città