Thieves in hospital steal medical instruments worth €300,000

It was not a good awakening for the doctors of the Gastroenterology Department. Thieves had stolen 12 of their 13 endoscopes.

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In a theft at the “Circolo” Hospital, the thieves of endoscopes also struck Varese.  Unfortunately, the precautions adopted by the hospital management, and by the Head of Gastroenterology, only limited the damage; the thieves of endoscopes, who had already carried out similar robberies in almost all of the hospitals in Lombardy, also made a visit to the Department of Gastroenterology in the “Circolo” Hospital in Varese, on the night between Friday and Saturday, taking no fewer than twelve of the thirteen endoscopes in the department, with a total value of about €300,000. The thieves did not succeed in stealing the colonoscopes that they would have liked.

With just one endoscope left, the gastroenterologists at the “Circolo” will only be able to carry out urgent examinations, and will have to reschedule next week’s appointments, as they await the delivery of new instruments to replace those that were stolen. The patients affected will be contacted by the department.

“Thefts of endoscopy instruments are a real nuisance for gastroenterology departments,” explained Dr Sergio Segato, the Director of the Gastroenterology Department in Varese. “For this reason, some months ago, the hospital strengthened the measures to guarantee security; in addition to the overall closure of the whole area dedicated to endoscopy, each room in this sector, which houses these devices, is kept under lock and key, and all of the locks were replaced recently. An armed guard makes regular rounds to monitor the area.”

“Unfortunately, these measures were not sufficient,” said an embittered General Director of the “Sette Laghi” Health Authority, Callisto Bravi, “and also Varese has joined the large group of hospitals that have been affected by this type of theft. They must be professionals, operating on commission; it’s highly unlikely that the 12 stolen endoscopes will be used in Italy. But what has happened is even more unpleasant  because it has an impact on patients, as we will have to reschedule all non-urgent examinations, while we wait to purchase new equipment. So, I’d like to express my regret to everyone affected, and assure them that we’ll do everything we can to keep the times necessary to overcome this situation to a minimum, despite the difficulty to find instruments, in view of the repeated thefts in Lombardy.”

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