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The doctor exploded: “After 21 years I am leaving ASL. I believed in psychiatry close to patients but it is a model that no longer exists.”

The doctor exploded: “After 21 years I am leaving ASL. I believed in psychiatry close to patients but it is a model that no longer exists.”

Twenty-one years of work in the mental health departmentI reach 4Most of them are in service Turin VII, is at the forefront of integration and patient care. Resigning in 2021. Not because of Covid fatigue nor because of unsatisfactory career outlook or salary. Enrico de Croce“It just disappeared,” says the 57-year-old psychiatrist who believes in a model that has “just disappeared.”

Are you working today?

“I recently participated in the Lombardy Published Tender, an initiative decided by Bertolaso ​​to limit the use of token operators. It is an option that interests me because it allows me to work in public structures on a private contract.”

Did you stop working after your resignation?

“I mainly work in private residential facilities. Given that services integrated into public health almost no longer exist and that the private sector ends up filling the voids and is increasingly needed for particularly complex cases such as those involving patients who have committed crimes, I realized that working in this context meant being able to To intervene on people with serious mental problems. That’s what I’ve always been interested in doing.”

It wasn’t Covid, it wasn’t the paycheck. What made you give up public health?

“I chose the Settimo mental health service because it was born as one of the first services in Piedmont with a strong regional model. A system that worked, as doctors and nurses were available 24 hours a day, allowing a stable and trusting relationship with the families of seriously mentally ill patients, whose stories were known to everyone. A formula that was expected to grow and be exported if anything happened. Instead, over the years we have witnessed a gradual deterioration. I felt frustrated. Personal choices also add to the decision but the main reason I am leaving is this.”

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We repeat that there is a shortage of local medicine. Are you saying the plans were there and we lost them?

“Exactly. Settimo’s service could be considered a prototype. It should have inspired the organization of other disciplines as well. Instead, the opposite happened: it was not the expectation.”

Now what is the approach with patients and their families?

“Clinics make appointments. But if a mentally ill person appears on that date, it means they have already recovered. Mental health services have to go and pick up the patient, otherwise we will lose them. With all imaginable consequences, starting from the fact that seriously mentally ill people end up in the emergency room, clogging up the emergency service that should only intervene in exceptional situations. Families’ discomfort is based on not feeling strong and continuous support. “We are not talking about increased distress, anxiety, panic attacks and self-harm in young people, but rather serious patients who often require lifelong follow-up.”