The immunologist who ended up in intensive care after the beating tells Adnkronos Salute about his recovery and launches a proposal: “Protection of doctors in civic education at school”
“I’m better. On Thursday I will have a small laser eye operation because there is a slight inflammation of the retina. An understandable situation considering that I had the bulb burst and three operations, of very high quality, in three days. I thank the colleagues for the way they took care of me.” Francesco Le Foche – a well-known Roman immunologist who was attacked in his office and ended up in intensive care last October 6 due to the beatings of a patient with a psychiatric diagnosis – tells Adnkronos Salute about his recovery and his desire to return to taking care of his clients . Retired since October at the Policlinico Umberto I in Rome, he explains, he will return to the department as an unpaid volunteer “for the particular cases in which I can help. For a doctor, his patients always remain a priority”.
On a physical level, fortunately Le Foche did not suffer any highly disabling damage, although there is still something to keep under control. “All things considered, my eyesight is fine – he continues – I will have to get a new lens but I have recovered a lot. The big risk was losing his eyefortunately at the Policlinico Umberto I, the synergy of the university and hospital areas creates a cultural ‘power’ that manages to have extraordinary results on a clinical level”.
The attack I suffered was a comedy of the absurd. I don’t want to think about it anymore. I didn’t even have time to be afraid because after the punch I received in the eye I lost consciousness and woke up in intensive care. But we got through it. The doctor must overcome the moment of crisis. He has to do it for the patients. I have already experienced estrangement from my clients twice, once due to a road accident in 2015 and the other now. And what weighed on me the most was taking time away from people who are sick. I treat serious pathologies and distancing myself from patients weighs on me,” she says.
“Against violence against doctors including lessons at school”
And “hitting a doctor, taking him away from his job – underlines the immunologist – means doing harm to the patient. The doctor is a bulwark of public health and must, therefore, necessarily be protected. This is why a change in culture is needed, we must acquire at a profound level the idea that the doctor does this job to help the patient and for this reason attacking him, distancing him from his activity harms everyone. This idea of protecting health professionals should be included in civic education lessons at school“, he says launching the proposal through Adnkronos Salute.
“My case was sensational but exceptional, being an attack by a psychiatric patient. What can happen every day instead is violence in emergency rooms, in family doctors’ surgeries, in emergency medical stations” -Against all this”Above all, the cultural vision must change. It is important to make sure that it is clear to everyone that the white coat is there to help and that protecting it is essential.”
We therefore need “general work to spread a different vision”. And in the presence of the emergency we are experiencing in terms of violence against healthcare workers “we must work on the new generations, with campaigns in schools, already in primary school and, later, in the context of civic education, because the figure of the doctor regains its social value as a ‘defender’ of public health”, concludes Le Foche.