Within this series of news articles, EUREGHA takes the opportunity to highlight actions taken by our members to tackle the Covid-19 outbreak.
The answer of Tuscany to fight the Covid-19 emergency includes a series of integrated measures for prevention, control, and treatment purposes. This article outlines the steps taken on the local level.
Information point for citizens, workers, business, and institutions
The Tuscany region created a dedicated webpage about the regional services, prescriptions, and actions to tackle Covid-19. On this page, information is provided on who to call in case of (suspected) Covid-19 infections. The website furthermore showcases recommendations, rules, regional regulations, and real-time data on the number of cases, hospitalizations, deaths, and tests. A specific section of information is included to inform foreign citizens in 14 different languages.
Widespread distribution of personal safety devices and a mass screening
Tuscany region, in collaboration with municipalities and associations, has distributed protective masks to the homes of all Tuscan citizens. From the 20th of April, citizens can pick up face masks in pharmacies and supermarkets when presenting their health cards.
The region is furthermore working on a plan to arrange a mass screening. Also with the collaboration with many private accredited labs, serological tests can be undertaken for those who are most at risk. Health professionals have been involved at first and categories identified as most exposed are following, such as workers of “primary services” and supermarket- employees.
Digital innovation for movements and contacts reduction
It is possible to receive prescriptions by SMS, prescribed by the general practitioner. The patient can show this SMS in the pharmacy and can directly collect the medication. This digital innovation is used to limit the movements of Tuscan citizens. It furthermore facilitates those who need to maintain contact with their GP’s or specialists. The prescriptions are being transferred on a single regional software called Sire3. Since the Covid-19 crisis, it is possible to link phone numbers of citizens to the program to enable the automatic SMS sending tool.
The response of the Regional Health Service to the emergency
The Tuscany region furthermore launched a large hiring plan for healthcare personnel to prepare for a future increase in health needs. The project focuses on providing permanent contracts. Up until now, 2000 new nurses and healthcare workers have been hired, and 670 doctor positions are appointed.
The healthcare pathways have been redesigned with particular attention to vulnerable patients such as people with cancer, rare diseases, or disabilities. Special attention is also given to the care delivery for newborns to make sure they are not at higher risk.
Psychological support to population and services dedicated to victims of violence
From the first moments of the emergency, the region has strengthened its existing psychological support service for the community via a free service number. Special attention goes to victims of violence via the Rose Code, a service available in all emergency rooms in Tuscany.
The lockdown and the social distancing did not take away the sense of solidarity within communities. Tuscan citizens, businesses, and local institutions are organizing many initiatives to show solidarity to the elderly and non-self-sufficient people. On the streets, baskets can be found with texts “Who has, leave. Who does not have, take”. This so-called “spesa sospesa” principle calls upon one’s feeling of respecting those who have less.
Tuscany has a framework agreement with the Health Human Resources Development Center of the China National Health Commission and ten years of collaboration with chines institutions in the field of training of health professionals.
A group of 14 doctors and nurse from the Fujian Province, China, visited Tuscany during the epidemiological emergency to train health professionals and health managers, sharing the response of Chinese government to Covid-19 both in terms of prevention and treatment, in a precious action of international cooperation.
“The ability to promote research in the epidemic period, while remaining well linked to the AIFA national protocols, is our precise commitment and shows the high level of our professionals,” said Enrico Rossi, President of Tuscany.
Numerous Tuscan research groups, both from the public and private system, are involved in national and international research projects.The commitment of the region in the field of research doesn’t stop, and a local call for research projects is underway aimed at finding solutions to deal with current events and future emergencies.
“The response of Tuscany to the epidemiological emergency has foreseen integrated measures of prevention, treatment, digital innovation and research.”