Health minister Roberto Speranza pledged that the reopening Italy's schools in conditions of safety was at the top of government's priorities as he reported to the Lower House on the COVID emergency Thursday before a vote in a resolution presented by the ruling majority in parliament. This precise commitment by the government led the centre-right opposition, which had initially said it would vote against the resolution, to abstain instead.

Reopening schools in total safety

"It is necessary to make the preparatory work for the reopening of the schools in September, which must happen in conditions of total safety, a top priority," Health minister Speranza told the floor of the House.
"I think that parliament should not be split on such a delicate issue". "That's why I'd like to link my positive opinion as the government to the (majority) resolution to add a third commitment to the government: to give utmost priority to the reopening of the schools in September, which must happen in conditions of total safety".

"It seems to me that this act takes on board the unanimous position expressed during the debate and, as such, gives value to this debate, which was not a formality, but a useful step in view of the decisions we will have to take".

The Lower House approved the majority resolution with commitments for the government to make in the next DPCM decree on the post-coronavirus reopening of activities. There were 254 votes in favour and 190 abstentions.

We are on the right road, but the enemy has not been defeated

"The epidemic is not over," the Health minister said. "Staunch, responsible prudence is needed."  "We are on the right road, but the enemy has not been defeated. We must not lower our guard.  Clear discussion is needed between the ruling majority and the opposition, between parties that, at various institutional levels, have important and competitive government responsibilities in management of the health sector, as set by article 117 of our Constitution. Collaboration is not a choice for me but an institutional obligation".

"I don't want a parliamentary debate that has been useful and full of food for thought to come to nothing. Many of the recommendations, especially those from opposition parties, can be of use in a debate that I hope this parliament will want to engage in on the reform of the health system and on how to look towards a post-COVID period and take on board lessons from these dramatic months", added Speranza.

Public health

"In the coming months we will have to have the courage to invest like never before and reform with vision and lucidity. We have started to do this with the 'relaunch decree', which allocated 3.25 billion euros (to the health service), an unprecedented figure that will make it possible to inject new life-blood into our country's public health (system)".

The minister recalled that, in five months, "we have invested more resources (in the health system) than in the last five years. But, for me, this is just the start. Many more resources, coming from all levels, will be needed". It is "indispensable to intervene immediately to fully recoup the ordinary activities suspended in recent months, when the fight against COVID-19 took up most of the national health service's energies and did not allow the normal functioning of  other services, which can no longer be postponed".

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Data di pubblicazione: 12 giugno 2020, ultimo aggiornamento 12 giugno 2020

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