From tourist medical center to community “hospital” to face the covid emergency.

Alagna transform itself, re-adapting its health services to Covid emergency needs Alagna, located  a rural area over 50 km from the nearest hospital, eliminate hospitalizations and guaranteeing a quick swab service, without waiting.

Alagna Valsesia is a small town located at 1200 m at the foot of the second highest mountain in Europe, Monte Rosa. Here, in the summer of 2020 the Municipality inaugurated a small but innovative medical center, collaborating with the ASL 11 of Vercelli in the organization of basic health services both for the local community and for tourists.
The hospital is manned by two IFEL nurses who guarantee on-site assistance to people who need treatment and dressings, blood sampling, pressure analysis, electrocardiogram analysis and other small checks thanks to the connection with the hospitals of Vercelli and Borgosesia. Services that, without the medical center, would have required over 50 km of road and an hour of driving to reach the nearest hospital.
Guaranteeing these health services in a rural and disadvantaged mountain area in this emergency period made it possible to keep under strict control all the weakest people, who would also have been subject to excessive risks in moving to hospitals to obtain the same services.

Hot-spot dedicated to the execution of molecular swabs
With the worsening of the Covid emergency, the Municipality of Alagna Valsesia, supported by the ASL 11 of Vercelli and by the general practitioner who works in the area, has begun a rapid transformation of the medical center, adapting to offer new services strictly connected to the health emergency and aimed at offering a hot-spot dedicated to the execution of molecular swabs for the residents of Alta Valsesia. The organization has allowed all residents of the area to receive the service with an average wait of less than two days, using a queue-free and “human-sized” drive-in and easing the pressure on the hospital’s tampon point. of Borgosesia.
Rapid swab service in agreement with the SISP serving the entire territory of the Montana Valsesia Union
The continuous increase in cases also in upper Valsesia has prompted the Municipality of Alagna Valsesia to purchase 2000 rapid tampons to ensure immediate intervention in the event of outbreaks in the territory of the Municipality and the entire Montana Union, allowing an almost instantaneous verification of the cases suspicious. The choice offered an immediate response to the unexpected need to launch a screening campaign for personnel operating in the social services of the Mountain Union of the Municipalities of Valsesia and aimed at guaranteeing the negativity of OSS operators, social workers and administrative staff of the Body for the protection of assisted persons, often the elderly.
Thanks to the structure and the ASL staff of the Medical Center, in less than two days screening was also carried out on all elderly people assisted by social services, carrying out free quick swabs at the homes of the most fragile people not only in Alagna and in the main valley , but also in Val Sermenza and Val Mastallone.

Rapid tampon service at a controlled price for individuals and businesses in the area
Starting from Friday 17 November a rapid tampon service will also start at the agreed price of € 35. The service was born thanks to the collaboration between the municipality of Alagna Valsesia which purchased 2000 rapid tampons, the Alta Valsesia Pharmacy which has made itself available to manage the reservations and payment of the service offered, and the general practitioner who will certify the outcome of the swabs made.
The swabs will be carried out on Tuesdays and Fridays starting at 17:30; Reservations are required and must be made by contacting the Alta Valsesia Pharmacy at the telephone number 379.2169929 (whatsapp) or by writing an email to tamponi@alpifarma.it. Payment will be made at the pharmacy while the swab will be performed in the drive-in in the square in front of the medical center.
The goal is to guarantee an immediate response at a fair price for individuals and companies that feel the need to verify their negativity or the negativity of their workers, in order not to have to suspend their work or, more simply , remove the doubts about your state of health. All the data of the tests carried out will be entered in the national portal and any positive cases will be reported to the ASL and can be quickly verified with the molecular swab

An experience, that of Alagna Valsesia, which demonstrates how the presence in rural mountain areas of small medical facilities is essential to give rapid and concrete answers to the population even in cases of emergency such as the one we are experiencing.

The experience of Alagna can be a lean, functional and low-cost “model” of territorial healthcare for the NHS, but capable of offering high-level services even to those who live far from urban centers and hospitals. The farsightedness of the Vercelli ASL first in the establishment of the medical center and subsequently in exploiting the territorial control for the COVID emergency is allowing, until now, to offer immediate answers and to treat people from home, drastically limiting access to the hospital