“Our Pronto Senior Salute service is on its last legs and this indicates how much the National Health Service is suffering. We are convinced that in 2023 it will be a real ordeal for citizens to be able to access services. In fact, the shortage of over 25,000 doctors and 63,000 nurses will not be able to help reduce the waiting lists, on the contrary, it will further lengthen times and inconveniences”, said Roberto Messina, president of Senior Italy FederAnziani, commenting on the data of one year of activity of the free telephone support service for citizens.
During the whole of 2022 – reads a note – almost 60,000 calls arrived at the Pronto Senior Salute switchboard. This is the listening point (which answers the number 06.62274404) activated over a year ago by Senior Italia FederAnziani and is a support, free of charge for citizens, to obtain compliance by the regional health services with the times indicated by the doctors at the internal prescriptions for specialist visits, diagnostic tests and any hospitalizations that are too often ignored when assigning appointments.
The Gimbe Observatory in 2019, 2020 and 2021 – continues the note – found an overall decrease in services of over 144 million and 90.2% in public facilities. The Agenas data confirm a 40% decrease in screening activities, finally over 11% of the population has given up visits and diagnostic or specialist tests due to economic problems. Pronto Senior of FederAnziani has managed to help at least 60,000 over 65s.
Specifically, the major calls were for specialist eye examinations (18.40%), cardiology (11.85%), pneumology (8.42%) and for diagnostic tests such as magnetic resonance (23.90%), ultrasound ( 19.85%) and Tac (14.11%).
“Added to this – remarks Messina – that the decrease in screening, especially in the oncological field, will lead to an emergence of oncological pathologies, to a greater staging, to doubled if not tripled costs and to a decrease in life expectancy”. again: “we are amazed by the decrease in operations for hip fractures according to the established times and above all the non-immediate rehabilitation of the patient which, as the literature teaches, if not done according to the guidelines leads to the death of the patient within twelve months “. Finally, “there are still over a million citizens waiting to undergo cataract surgery and specialist eye examinations”, he concludes.