“The health emergency has also made the fragility of the national health system even more evident, a fragility on which we are committed to speed up interventions, not least those implemented with the Pnrr, to overcome inequalities at a territorial level and resolve existing critical issues and which the pandemic has sharpened. Resources, prevention, enhancement of health personnel are three priorities that I immediately placed on the agenda of my mandate at the Ministry of Health”. Thus the Minister of Health Orazio Schillaci in his greeting message to the fifth edition of the “Inventing for Life Health Summit” this year dedicated to the theme: “Investing for Life: health matters”, organized by MSD Italia today in Rome at the Auditorium Ara Pacis.
“Healthcare has been constantly underfunded throughout the pre-pandemic period – underlines Schillaci – and I have made a commitment to ensure that more resources are guaranteed. Despite the objective difficulties due to high energy costs and the war in Ukraine, we gave a first signal with the 2023 budget law, increasing the National Health Fund for the years 2023-2024-2025″. For the minister, however, “acting on financial leverage is not enough”, if anything, it is necessary “to rethink the organizational model of Italian healthcare by creating valid alternatives in the area, so that the citizen is not forced to go to the hospital even for non-urgent treatments overcrowding emergency rooms. Added to this are the waiting lists for outpatient services and hospital admissions which have accumulated considerable delays during the pandemic”.
To reduce waiting times, “we aim to strengthen the territorial network with health and diagnostic equipment to improve corporate and regional governance – continues Schillaci in his message – and, in relation to scheduled hospitalizations, to introduce models and standards for systemic monitoring and structured at national level of the patient’s journey, from the moment of taking charge of the request, to the inclusion in the waiting list, to access to hospitalization, up to his discharge”.
The “reorganization of healthcare”, however, “cannot do without a strong investment in healthcare personnel – warns Schillaci – so that they are adequately valued, both professionally and economically. Recovering the attractiveness of working in the public health service is another urgency that sees me busy”.
Another central theme is prevention: “strengthening cancer screening activities and promoting correct lifestyles are the two directions along which we are moving – remarked the minister -. Prevention, in addition to fully implementing the concept of health understood as psychophysical well-being, and not just the absence of the disease, allows us to guarantee economic sustainability to the system because investing in prevention means saving on treatments. In this context, research and innovation play an important role”.
Support “for research is fundamental and receives maximum attention from the Ministry of Health – adds Schillaci – not only in terms of economic support. The decrees on ethics committees regarding clinical trials, which I signed a few days ago, represent a significant boost to health research which, in addition to allowing greater availability of therapeutic alternatives, constitutes an extraordinary driving force for the socio-economic growth of an important productive sector of the our nation: these are in fact important provisions for the regulatory approval process of clinical trials which will help improve Italy’s performance in the sector, moving in the direction of less bureaucracy without renouncing that level of scientific rigor essential for guaranteeing pharmaceuticals and safe medical devices and overall development of the system and of the reference industrial fabric”. Finally, a passage on the pandemic: “He demonstrated the advantages of using telemedicine which finds a significant investment in Mission 6 of the Pnrr that sees it operate in public and private synergy. Innovation undoubtedly represents the keystone of a health care system in which the hospital and the community dialogue, ensuring a global care of the person by responding to health and social needs in an appropriate and timely manner. I am sure that with everyone’s collaboration we will be able to reach the goals we have set ourselves “, he concludes.
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