Maneuver rejected by scientific societies: “Largely insufficient for strengthening the health service”

Maneuver rejected by scientific societies: “Largely insufficient for strengthening the health service”

The representatives of Italian clinicians reject the Government’s economic maneuver. “We are very concerned about the Budget Law just approved and we consider it completely insufficient compared to the real and urgent needs of Italian healthcare”.

This is what the Forum of the Scientific Societies of Italian Hospital and University Clinicians (FoSSC) claims. The body, which brings together 75 scientific societies active in our country, recalls that an allocation of 3 billion euros is envisaged, of which 2.3 will be allocated to the renewal of contracts, but the extent of the expected contractual increases will not allow it to slow down the the exodus of newly graduated doctors nor the early retirements of doctors already in service. There are another 600/700 million for the disposal of waiting lists. But a large part of these resources will be assigned to accredited private structures and this is the only spending limit that has been changed.

“All the others including those concerning the new hiring of medical-nursing staff have not been changed in the slightest – continue the experts of the Forums -. In our opinion, intervening on spending ceilings is the only way we have to act on the long-standing problems that afflict our National Health Service. In fact, Italian hospitals lack around 30 thousand specialist doctors and at least 50 thousand nurses. Furthermore, our country is still at the bottom of Europe (22to position by number of ordinary hospital beds (314×100 thousand inhabitants vs a European average of 537). Major problems such as those of emergency rooms or waiting lists represent the epiphenomenon of these very serious structural problems and staff shortages. Among other things, these were probably the main causes of the highest mortality recorded in Italy during the pandemic among all Western European countries. Therefore the problems of the National Health Service cannot be addressed with spot or stopgap measures, but require a reform of the system which is completely missing from this financing plan”.

In Italy the defunding of healthcare has grown over the years and currently healthcare spending is only 6.6% of GDP. It is expected to fall to 6.1% in the next two years compared to 11% in Germany, 10% in France and 9.3% in the United Kingdom. “We are faced with a truly difficult situation – he continues FoSSC -. For too long in our country the resources allocated to healthcare have been insufficient while the raising of the ceilings on subsidized private spending has been authorised. If we want to continue to have a truly universal national health service, we need to start investing again. In the 2022 health spending report from the State Accounting Office, out-of-pocket spending by citizens was reported which even exceeds 37 billion. In this context, the situation will only get worse. Our Forum participates in an active technical table at the Ministry of Health for a general reorganization of hospital and community care. This would have been an excellent opportunity for discussion and constructive dialogue between political decision-makers and hospital and university clinical experts. But reforms and reorganization inevitably have costs and adequate economic resources are needed to save the National Health Service which, as President Mattarella has stated several times, is a precious asset to be defended and adapted”.

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