Before the Salute, SANITÀ: Protest Targets Hospital Cuts

Join and 40xVenezia together with Venice citizens to protest reductions in local hospitals and their funding.

It’s a curious situation of this tiny town, visited by millions upon millions per year, inhabited daily by thousands of mainland workers, relocated to for longer periods by students, academics, and other longer-term visitors. With the gradual reduction in hospitals, services, and funding, it’s all their healthcare that’s at risk, and what (those fabulous folks who brought you uber-theatrical Funerale di Venezia and Veniceland) in collaboration with 40xVenezia and many other local associations will be highlighting with their demonstration on Nov. 12. Visit the Facebook page for the event.

Granted, residents are always here, and anyone who is here temporarily hopes they’ll have no need of hospital or emergency services during their time in the city. If this were to turns out not to be the case, it may be in your interest to support these citizens’ efforts to have their voices heard. The demonstration is scheduled to take place in San Giovanni e Paolo on November 12th from 11am til 3pm.

Adapted from the official press release:

Why Sanità!

Venice emergency and healthcare services are at severe risk. This is not only a “Venetian” problem, but one for our guests from all over the world, whose numbers now reach 50.000 per day. We feel compelled to alert world public opinion that in the very near future Venetians — and visitors — in need of medical attention may be at risk due to severe decline in healthcare service resources.

• A number of hospitals in the lagoon area have been closed and dismantled, leaving even the most basic levels of service at risk.

• Lagoon hospitals (S.Clemente, Sacca Sessola, Le Grazie, l’Ospedale al Mare) have been sold, but profits have not been reinvested in the “Ospedale Civile”, where instead beds are being cut and wards are being closed down. For example:

• Why doesn’t the management of the medical care take into consideration Venice’s particular situation in order to provide services adequate to its space and its timings?

• Why is the only remaining hospital being closed instead of upgraded?

• In case of an emergency, one hour could make a difference between life and death…how long would it take to reach an hospital on the mainland?

The trend is now obvious, Public Health Services are suffering severely. We are in possession of complete documentation that support our claims.

We are always grateful, and would like to recognize all those healthcare workers dedicated to doing their utmost to provide a good service to Venetians and tourists alike. We are holding this demonstration to recognize:

1. the distinct, specific character and situation of Venice and its islands
2. the need — the right — to adequate standards of service. The hospital in the historic center is lacking in basic and specialized health services and physicians. We demand the restitution of the “amphibian city” that is able to serve the needs of 90,000 citizens and 30 million visitors, students and tourists, and temporary residents, by restoring standards comparable with the standards of the services offered on the mainland.
3. better ambulance and emergency services as it relates to water ambulances, helicopters, and transportation for discharged patients who cannot transport themselves.
4. the need for funding subsidies for unsustainable projects, including the Proton Therapy project, which will inevitably divert funds from patient diagnosis and treatment.

They are also demanding that the General Director of Ulss 12 step down and that he be replaced with a director who recognizes the severity of the situation, and who will address it appropriately.

When and Where:

  • 12 November, 2011
  • 11 a.m. – 15 p.m.
  • main entrance of the Ospedale Civile in Campo San Giovanni e Paolo

• Venetian actor Cesare Colonnese with perform a theatrical piece, followed by brief speeches by the representatives of a number of Venetian associations and groups.

• We will ask for explanations from the competent authorities and we’ll demonstrate the public opinion the dire state of the “Ospedale al Mare” on Lido, and the general situation of the other Venetian hospitals.


This is an a-political forum promoting the right to health for all, open to all citizens of any political affiliation. We hope to see you there — your help is very important, the health of Venetians and your compatriots is no laughing matter!

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