Italy will fast-track thousands of student doctors into service in an attempt to help the struggling health service combat the deadly COVID-19.
The Italian government announced “Cure Italy” decree on Tuesday, which includes letting medical school graduates work as fully-qualified doctors immediately.
University Minister Gaetano Manfredi announced that the government would allow this year’s medical graduates to start working eight or nine months ahead of time.
In a statement, he said, “This means immediately releasing into the National Health System the energy of about 10,000 doctors, which is fundamental to dealing with the shortage that our country is suffering.”
Due to lack of training, the newly graduates will not be dispensing treatment to those seriously ill, but will help with triage, carry out tests, evaluate suspected cases and offer support in general practitioner’s clinics.
This way the more experienced medical professionals will be free to work at the hospitals, which are filling up fast.
The Europe’s worst hit country had resorted to drastic measures to make sure everyone can be adequately cared for.
The pandemic pushed northern Italian hospitals into breaking point while other regions scramble to reinforce their own health systems as the number of infected rapidly increases.
There are more than 3,400 people have died and around 2,500 patients in intensive care units across Italy.
Matteo Salvini, head of the League party that governs the wealthy region said, “Lombardy is on the point of collapse. All the intensive care beds and respirators are being used.”
According to Giacomo Grasselli, head of the intensive care unit at Milan’s Policlinico hospital, around 1,135 people are in need of intensive care in Lombardy, but the region only has 800 intensive care beds.
Health officials are working to set up more intensive care bedsin the Fiear Milano exhibition center, but they are still waiting for sufficient respirators and qualified personnel.