ANSA - Milan, May 10 - An agreement was signed at dawn on Friday that will save Milan’s troubled San Raffaele hospital from staffing cuts. The Lombardy regional government and the Lombardy prefecture worked out a plan that prevents 180 layoffs slated, reintegrates an additional 64 staffers already notified of redundancy, and protects jobs through 2014. San Raffaele is a major research and training hospital with a total of 1350 beds and a staff of 3400. After becoming embroiled in scandal that exposed the hospital’s rickety finances, San Raffaele was bought by the San Donato hospital group in January 2012 for 405 million euros. Roughly 1000 staffers protested job cuts in an April demonstration, while Lombardy faced a general strike in May at public and private health facilities throughout the region called by health workers’ unions. Financial scandal involving San Raffaele has also dogged ex-governor of Lombardy Roberto Formigoni and contributed to the fall of his government last fall. Milan prosecutors petitioned to bring Formigoni to trial on Wednesday for receiving millions of euros worth of luxuries and benefits from Pierangelo Dacco', an ex-healthcare lobbyist who facilitated regional contracts and concessions for San Raffaele and the Pavia-based Maugeri healthcare foundation. Dacco’ was sentenced to 10 years in prison last year for embezzling money through the San Raffaele hospital. According to the court, Dacco' helped create the so-called "San Raffaele system", whereby entrepreneurs who worked under contract for the hospital would intentionally overbill clients and give the difference to Dacco' who used the money for slush funds. Formigoni has vigorously denied wrongdoing.
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di Giovanni Pastore