The fund intended for eating disorder clinics has been eliminated. 22 thousand patients at risk – WWN

The fund intended for eating disorder clinics has been eliminated.  22 thousand patients at risk – WWN

Of Chiara Daina

Diagnoses are growing in our country (+15% vs 2022). The appeals, and the commitment of the Ministry of Health, to make a dedicated fund permanent

Treatments at risk of interruption for 22 thousand patients suffering from eating disorders, mainly of developmental age and 60% in charge in the centers of the South and the Islands. the dramatic estimate made by the experts of the working group on eating disorders of the Ministry of Health after the budget law for 2024 eliminated the fund allocated to clinics for the treatment of these diseases. Today s
It would be madness to interrupt treatment for patients in the clinics and day hospitals set up from scratch with the fund. A lot of work is required to enroll patients in the treatment process, which never lasts less than two years. Eighty cases out of one hundred, in fact, are not aware of having an eating disorder. After having gained their trust and convinced them to undergo treatment, if they are then abandoned their clinical picture can only worsen with a strong health and social impact. comments Laura Dalla Ragione, director of the eating disorder services network of the Umbria 1 local health authority, leading the ministerial table.

The appeals and commitment of the Ministry of Health

The families are very worried. We urgently ask for a measure to refinance the fund, who had recognized the importance of supporting public treatment pathways for eating disorders. We also sent a letter to the Minister of Health Orazio Schillaci for discussion. It is essential to guarantee continuity of treatment for these patients otherwise they will not see the light at the end of the tunnel of their illness Patrizia Cappelletto, outgoing president of the DCA National Coordination (Eating Disorders), which brings together around twenty associations of family members and former patients. From politics we can see a glimmer of hope.
There is a willingness on the part of the Government to find a solutionbecause the fund was producing very positive concrete results, he announced to the Corriere Ugo Cappellacci, president of the Social Affairs commission of the Chamber of Deputies. The Ministry of Health confirms that it is working to make the dedicated fund structural (and therefore permanent).
Also Pope francesco in the Angelus speech on Wednesday 10 January he underlined the post-pandemic emergency of people suffering from problems with food (anorexia, bulimia, binge eating, obesity), recalling that they are evils of the psyche and the soul. This is an ever-growing epidemic.

The numbers

In 2023 the new diagnoses registered in our country were 1,680,456
against 1,450,567
of 20221,230,468 in 2021, 879,560 in 2020 and 680,569 in 2019. The f
national organization for the fight against eating disorders it had been established with the 2021 budget law and allocated 25 million euros for the years 2022 and 2023 for the establishment of an adequate network of services to respond to the growing need for care and fill the regional disparities in the provision of assistance which requires long journeys and transfers. Thanks to this money, 780 professionals have been hired, including doctors, psychologists and nutritionists, with a fixed-term contract that expires on 30 October 2024 and 80 clinics and day hospitals have been activated, reports Dalla Ragione. For the expert it is no longer possible to move forward with fixed-term projects given the alarming increase in cases and the constantly growing trend. it is a priority to create a stable and restricted fund for the management of these diseases to be paid to the Regions, exactly as is done for autism.

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January 11, 2024 (modified January 11, 2024 | 1:02 pm)

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