Healthcare +11 billion all eroded by the pandemic. And the Regions risk closing in the red

ROME – The Covid-19 pandemic has hit the National Health System (NHS) with heavy effects not only in terms of greater hospitalizations and maintenance of hospitals but also on the financial front, heavily eroding the economic resources destined to give new oxygen to the Health Fund . From 2020 to date, funding for public health has in fact passed from 113.8 billion to 124.9, an increase of 11.2 billion, of which 5.3 assigned by Covid decrees. However, these resources have been fully absorbed by the pandemic e in 2022 various Regions risk closing with their accounts in the red. It is the analysis contained in the fifth report of the Gimbe Foundation on the Ssn.

The revival of public funding for health, Gimbe underlines, was that is “Imposed by the pandemic” but also “eroded” by this. And there is still no “structural” strengthening of the NHS, while many critical issues remain unresolved: very long waiting lists for visits, examinations, surgical operations and screening; but also new health needs, in particular those dictated by the effects of the long-Covid and the repercussions of the pandemic on mental health. And, above all, the‘further weakening of the health workforce: “Early retirement, burnout and demotivation, voluntary layoffs and flight to the private sector are leaving key sectors increasingly uncovered, in particular the ER,” Gimbe notes.

The appeal to the future government “put health at the center”

Hence an appeal to the future government: Italy, warns the Gimbe president Nino Cartabellotta, “Spends little on public health, so much so that we are in 16th place in Europe; the new executive puts health at the center ”. Meanwhile, the epidemiological picture in Italy marks a slowdown in the growth of cases, but we will still have to wait at least a week, according to experts, to be able to understand what the trend of the curves will be. We must prepare for “ups and downs”, warns Alessandro Vespignani, new president of the Isi Foundation, an international center that works on complex systems and data based in Turin. According to the analyzes of the mathematician Giovanni Sebastiani, of the Institute for Calculation Applications ‘M. Picone’ of the National Research Council (Cnr), however, the cases of Covid-19 are decreasing in eight Italian provinces, seven of which are located in the South and one in the Center, but it will take a week to confirm whether it is a real descent of the curve and not a stasis.

The confirmation that the contagion curve has been rising more slowly in recent days also comes from Cartabellotta, “but we still need to understand the effects of the abolition of the obligation to wear a mask on public transport. We had advocated a circular to this effect – he says – but unfortunately it will not see the light, given that we are in a transition phase between one executive and another ”.

Another fact, observes the epidemiologist Cesare Cislaghi, is that i positive for SarsCoV2 virus “could be much more numerous than those notified ufficially and this would explain why, despite the deceleration of the increase in new cases, hospitalizations are growing instead ”. According to Cislaghi, in fact, “the number of infected ‘aware’ because hetero or self-diagnosed would nowadays be about half higher than that reported by the Civil Protection data and therefore an incidence not of forty thousand per day but of sixty thousand and a prevalence not five hundred thousand positives but seven hundred and fifty thousand “.

And the situation in prisons is worrying where infections start to rise again. According to the latest data from the Ministry of Justice, there are 239 positive prisoners out of a prison population of 55,249 people. None of them are hospitalized. As for the numbers of the epidemic in the last 24 hours, after the physiological decline of the weekend there is a rise: 65,925 new infected people (yesterday 15,089), according to data from the Ministry of Health. The victims are 80 (yesterday 51), and the positivity rate is 19.8% (compared to 18.1% the previous day). In hospitals, there are 224 hospitalized in intensive care (yesterday 216), or 8 more, while those hospitalized in ordinary wards are 6,259, or 272 more.

Healthcare +11 billion all eroded by the pandemic. And the Regions risk closing in the red