We stay alert at the EOC


The president of hospital Paolo Sanvido talks to us about the effects of the pandemic on cantonal healthcare, the Master’s in medicine and investments for the future

We stay alert at the EOC
The president of the cantonal hospital Paolo Sanvido. © CdT / Chiara Zocchetti

We stay alert at the EOC

The president of the cantonal hospital Paolo Sanvido. © CdT / Chiara Zocchetti

What is the project you care most about for the cantonal hospital?

There are various - but all with one goal: to improve patient care. In 2017 we launched the project strongly desired by Giorgio Pellanda which requires an efficient and lean organisational and management structure to keep up with the times and be able to respond adequately to the needs of patients. It mirrors alongside the four regional hospitals and the EOC Rehabilitation Clinic, it sees the multi-site institutes take responsibility for multi-disciplinary and complex activities, with a single responsibility for administrative, medical and scientific management within the entire EOC. The EOC institutes are IOSI, the Neurocentro, that of Pediatrics of Italian Switzerland, that of Pharmacological Sciences, the Institute of Imaging, Laboratory Medicine, the Cantonal Institute of Pathology and from 1. January 2021 the new EOC Cardiocentro Institute are an example. A good example of a combination of centralised care and proximity care. In fact, the institutes usually concentrate stationary activities in a single location and guarantee coverage of outpatient needs in all the other EOC locations. Furthermore, the EOC Institutes also allow an ideal connection to the USI Faculty of Biomedical Sciences and project us towards the future vision of the university multisite hospital.

We are talking about structures and in particular the new regional hospital of Bellinzona which has made progress. What will be the function of this new hospital?

I thank the Council of State for the precious mediation activity between the various stakeholders that will allow us to acquire the Saleggina land by the end of the year and start the competitions for ideas and design. It will take several more years before the new Bellinzona Regional Hospital on the Saleggina land will be put into operation and the San Giovanni Hospital, now at the end of its last cycle of life, will be disposed of. In the meantime, we will guarantee the San Giovanni Hospital a high quality standard to ensure adequate patient care.

Nobody speaks of a cantonal hospital anymore. Why is that?

We are already over. The EOC, the Ticino public service hospital, has always been ‘cantonal’. The EOC as a whole ranks among the top 10 hospitals in Switzerland by number of cases and by turnover. For the City of Ticino, we must aim to become the first university multisite hospital. With the exclusive achievement of the main supra-cantonal mandates for highly specialised medicine (MAS) (STROKE, serious wounds, complex visceral surgery) we are already competitive with university hospitals and the largest cantonal hospitals in inner Switzerland. With the launch of the Masters in Human Medicine from the USI Faculty of Biomedical Sciences, it is the right ingredient to take on university value with facts. We must continue to work hard for Ticino patients.

Important investments are planned for the Lugano regional hospital. Has the new situation, perhaps thanks to the coronavirus, changed your plans or not?

COVID-19 forced the canton’s health care, in some way, to reinvent itself. To reschedule services, open departments, move others, postpone interventions, reorganise treatments and administrative staff. Today we are dealing with a major drop in our activities. It is now a question of understanding how, if and when hospital activities can return to pre-COVID-19 levels. Not only for the Civic, but for the whole EOC, evaluations are underway which, together with the financial difficulties which lead us to temporarily suspend the start of construction sites. We have a responsibility that requires us to carry out an accurate verification of all the planned investments.

At the end of the year you will have to deal with lower income of at least 30 million. Are you worried or does the state guarantee make you sleep soundly after all?

Depending on what will happen in the coming months, we estimate that we can decrease or even worsen the loss recorded in the middle of the year. We do not sleep soundly, important decisions will be imposed. In the most difficult moments of the health crisis, being able to count on the financial guarantee of the State has certainly helped to guarantee the population an adequate and efficient hospital system that is kept “ready” to cope with any increase in hospitalisations. The public service has shown its strength.

The pandemic has also shown a positive side, the fruitful cross-cutting collaboration between public and private health. But that magical moment already seems to be behind us. Or maybe we’re wrong?

The intense collaboration between the Luganese Moncucco Clinic and the Locarno Regional Hospital has been instrumental in successfully countering the most serious cases affected by the new coronavirus. Public-private partnerships are nothing new to the EOC. We have demonstrated our canton healthcare leadership and clinical strength. The development of the biomedicine faculty project in partnership with the University of Italian Switzerland will be an opportunity to continue to collaborate with those health actors in the area who will recognise themselves in it to return to work together more to the benefit of Ticino patients .

September 2020 is the historic month that sees the baptism of the Master in medicine and the director of DECS Manuele Bertoli dreaming of the cantonal university hospital. Could it become reality?

Yes, it is the goal to which the whole city of Ticino must aspire. A shared dream. It will be a maturation process that will take time and that must also be accompanied by an important cultural leap for our Canton. The Master in Human Medicine that has started in recent days requires a strong collaboration with other Swiss universities (in particular the ETH Zurich and the University of Basel) and represents a unique opportunity to grow the health system and, in particular, hospital in Ticino. The EOC in its role as a privileged partner of USI is more attractive to attract valuable doctors and professors to Ticino to be included in the Faculty of Biomedical Sciences. It is finally also the time to focus more on research to the benefit of the development and growth of the Canton of Ticino.

©CdT.ch - Riproduzione riservata

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