Anesthetist at one hundred euros an hour: the last frontier of the health emergency with few staff. The case in Savona

Anesthetist at one hundred euros an hour: the last frontier of the health emergency with few staff.  The case in Savona


One hundred euros an hour for an anesthetist. It is the last face of the health emergency, that of the use of

token doctors, struggling with staff shortages and overcrowding in the emergency room. It happens in Liguria. The case anticipated by the edition of Savona of the newspaper “Il Secolo XIX”. The ASL 2 of Savona has in fact issued a tender for a VAT contract, at one hundred euros an hour for an anesthetist who is available for 36 hours a week and a maximum of 12 months. The resolution states that the recruitment takes place “to guarantee the essential levels of assistance, in consideration of the need to strengthen anaesthesia, resuscitation and operating room on-call activities, also to support the reduction of waiting lists, taking into account the critical issues in the recruitment of medical specialists”.

And in ASL2 there is no shortage of token anesthetists. “We have to deal with the flight towards private activity and retirements, without VAT registered professionals I would have to reduce the activity especially now that we are returning to pre-Covid numbers – explains the professor Nicolò Antonino Patronitiprimary of anesthesia and resuscitationunder university management, at the hospital Santa Corona di Pietra Ligure – In my department, in addition to 12 full-time anesthetists and two hired specialists, there are four token operators who mainly cover weekends and allow us to organize shifts, they are much less busy than those hired. In May one of them will return to work for the hospital and will leave the VAT number, practically a miracle.”

The token operators are often retired doctors or specialists and the rates for services vary. “Here we are talking about 100 euros an hour, calculate that a hired anesthetist earns around 60 euros gross per hour – continues Patroniti – But there are regions where the rates are decidedly higher. There was a time when the demand for professionals was so high that they were the ones who set the market price.”

In the notice intended for token operators, restrictions are also indicated: you cannot resign from a public job and present yourself as a VAT number, those who switch to private activity must wait a few years to apply for notices and you cannot already be part of cooperatives . “Of course, instead of paying 100 euros to a VAT number, it would be better to incentivize those hired – concludes the Santa Corona head doctor – Not only from a salary point of view. It’s not true that doctors want to get rich, the change in perspective starts from the quality of the work and the climate of collaboration that a department is able to offer.”


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