AGI – Covid has distorted the health models that the Lazio Region she had managed to get off the ground after the sacrifices imposed by the return plan. And the biggest fear was that the system – recently returned to good levels of performance – could fall again. After more than ten years, healthcare in Lazio had come out of the phase of commissioner and the pandemic came like a tsunami. Now though the imperative is to look ahead and to do so having learned the lesson taught by Covid.
For this the new the regional health system it will be redesigned starting from the territory. But not only. “The impact, on the other hand, was absorbed well and here lies the figure of the excellent work done by everyone the management levels of our health care, from the regional department up to daily work of our health personnel ”, he told AGI Rodolfo Lena, new president of the Health Commission of the Lazio Region.
“Today we know that there is some structure that is struggling, some territories that risk some limitations also due to the need to transform some hospitals in Covid centers, but they are episodes in the process of being overtaken. Now ours attention is dedicated to the restart phase, to the challenge to bring every citizen closer to public health services “.
A commission to analyze the problems arising from the pandemic
“The pandemic it was an epochal event, unexpected and unpredictable. It is evident that for this very reason it had an impact tremendous about the company, first of all for the loss of human life and then for all health consequences, economic, social and I would say anthropological that came from it ”, he explains Paolo Ciani, vice president of the Health Commission at Lazio region and new president of the special commission on the Covid emergency, born to “grasp the exceptional nature of the situation to deepen the consequences and better prepare for the future “.
Specifically, says Ciani, “the new commission, as stated in the institutive norm, it will have tasks of analysis and study of health, social, economic, employment needs and problems connected to the Covid-19 epidemic and the possible solutions to be proposed to counter the emergency caused by the epidemic ‘”. It is not a question, continues Ciani, “of judging the work carried out so far, but above all to treasure of what has happened so far to improve responses in different areas most impacted by the pandemic “.
In general, the impact of Covid “was terrible. Clearly we were not prepared, but after a very difficult initial period, the regional health system gave excellent answers and today it is common heritage that the Lazio region has been in many ways an example for the whole of Italy. There are evaluations to be made on other treatments: obviously the Covid emergency it penalized other aspects of taking charge of citizens’ health demands ”.
“The pandemic has highlighted the inadequacy of the health system”
The spread of the Covid-19 pandemic “Highlighted the inadequacy of the our health care system marked too much from the lack of organization and resources ”, he echoes Giuseppe Simeone, member of the Lazio Regional Council. “These are factors – he observes – that Covid has only worsened by grafting on a precarious and weak system on which it was necessary and could intervene. In recent months we have chased the emergency, converted hospitals, hired additional staff and implemented beds, as well as equipment, to cope with the spread of the pandemic. But this resulted in the substantial blocking of other core activities starting from cancer screening and ordinary services for the chronically ill, heart patients, diabetics with the interruption of new diagnoses, specialist visits, of hospitalizations and surgeries postponed to a later date “.
“What happened cannot be repeated – continues Simeone -. New pandemics or emergencies could occur and as we have learned with Covid-19 they will do it without giving any notice. This entails the need to redesign the health system starting from the elimination of the waiting lists on which all the plans prepared so far have failed or have proved fallacious, because the chronically ill, the transplanted, the cancer patients need treatment and diagnostic tests and they cannot be abandoned by the regional health system as has happened up to now ”.
It is unacceptable – he says – “that to carry out a health service or a specialist examination must wait over a year. For this reason, it is necessary to focus on diagnostic centers located in the area that can provide continuous services available to citizens, bring into force some procedures tested during the period of emergency, such as the dematerialized prescription and the automatic renewal of therapeutic plans “.
“The great challenge is overcoming the ‘hospital model'”
The great challenge facing the Region, Lena continues, “is addressed overcoming the “hospital model” for a better branching of territorial health services, with better outpatient services and implementation of health houses in areas with less health care. This then will be the model, why strengthen public health does not mean build many small hospitals, but ensure that a patient is taken care of by the system and is accompanied on the treatment path. It is on this model that they integrate also new challenges for our healthcare, such as telemedicine and processes in general digitization that will streamline the processes “.
Towards the Houses of Health
Among the concrete projects, Lena points out, “there are the Houses of Health, some of which inaugurated before the pandemic. And we will continue with this commitment for bridging a health ‘gap’ which is recorded above all in provincial territories, outside the metropolitan context. But the same goal also passes for the strengthening of services of our local health authorities, of the clinics that in many cases have to see a significant efficiency. It will also help improve services a rationalization in governance of our health companies, a point on which the commissioner Alessio D’Amato he insisted in a particular way, with the establishment of the zero company that will have the task of bringing together the administrative aspect and strictly management, now broken down in every single ASL, to achieve principles of economic savings and efficiency “.
For Ciani, the Lazio health care will travel on a double track: “Most of the interventions must develop on the territory by implementing services that do not exist today, starting with by the family nurse (on which I presented a law that will soon be discussed in the Region), telemedicine, home care and enhancing the Uscar experience. Then obviously there must be very specialized and high quality hospitals to deal with emergencies and the most serious situations. But it is clear that the hospital model, or worse, institute-centric, without local medicine, has failed. Change model in the light what we have seen with the pandemic is necessary and urgent ”.
It’s on Community houses which also point the investments of the NRP, with the construction of 1,288 structures by 2026. “The Community Houses – Lena affirms – are health structures, promoters of a model of multidisciplinary intervention, as well as privileged places for design of social interventions and social and health integration. In these structures, in order to be able to provide all basic health services, the general practitioner and the pediatrician of free choice work in team, in collaboration with family nurses, outpatient specialists e other health professionals such as speech therapists, physiotherapists, dieticians, rehabilitation technicians and others. While the presence of assistants social services will strengthen the role of social services territorial as well as their greater integration with the health care component “.
In Lazio region “are provided 125 structures of this kind. The provision of the Community Houses represents an attempt to reform primary care and, therefore, from this point of viewa deserves great attention. The definition of the competences and the role of these structures will be fundamental within the social and health offer of the districts “.
But in the coming years there will also be patients who deserve special attention: are the Covid posts. “Many aspects related to the virus are still to be studied and investigated, starting with the consequences on those who contracted the virus. We will see what science will tell us and we will also evaluate based on this, ”comments Ciani.