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Proximity healthcare, the future is now

13 dicembre 2021

Proximity healthcare, the future is now

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Healthcare is watching itself change. A transformation accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic. The webinar "Inclusion, cohesion and proximity networks. What challenges and opportunities for the NRRP?", organised by Recovery Lab and Cattolica per la Pubblica Amministrazione. It was an in-depth examination of both proximity healthcare, with the focus mainly on Emilia Romagna, and the possibilities triggered by the National Recovery and Resilience Plan.

Introduced by Barbara Boschetti and Emanuele Vendramini, Professors at Università Cattolica, the speakers began with Elio Borgonovi. The Professor from Bocconi University stressed how fundamental it is to unlearn what we know in order to learn again. "We must be able to unlearn the behaviours we have had up to now", he said, "consolidated in organisational models that must be transformed. To do this, we need to go back to the roots, since needs are at the origin of everything".

"The ageing of the population, the chronic nature of illnesses and the lack of self-sufficiency of many elderly people are the problems we will have to face", Professor Borgonovi said.

The future will have to be based on the principle of subsidiarity, at least as Raffaele Donini, Regional Councillor for health policies, explains, stating that it is necessary to "start again from home care, from the services provided at the patient's home. From the territorial point of view, the NRRP is going to strengthen structures such as the Health Homes, which the Plan defines as Community Homes, structures that we in Emilia Romagna know well, counting 130 of them".

The fact that the NRRP is based on what is already being done in the Region makes us proud, but Donini maintains that we must not stop. "We need to evolve so that the community house integrates the social-health aspect with the social-assistance aspect, in which there is room for voluntary work".

The NRRP was the central issue in the speeches by Marco Leonardi, Head of the Department for Planning and Coordination of Economic Policy of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, and Luca Baldino, General Manager of the Piacenza Local Health Authority.

Leonardi was optimistic about the plan ‒ "if I had to make a bet, I'd say that we'll hit all 51 of our targets by the end of the year" ‒ while Baldino indicated the focus of the NRRP funding. "They are divided into six areas", he said, "community centres, the territorial operating centre (COT), which serves as a link between the hospital and the territory, the creation of community hospitals, and the other three lines of funding, which are the renewal of health technologies, digitalisation and telemedicine".

Emanuele Vendramini and Antonello Zangrandi, the latter from the University of Parma, took a closer look at local healthcare system. While the Professor from the University of Parma pointed to the project manager as the professional profile capable of guaranteeing a real change in healthcare ‒ "district directors are not enough", he said ‒ Vendramini, speaking of the Health Homes, expressed the fear that people fall in love with the container rather than the contents. "This is why", said the Professor, "we need to insist on competences, since the containers must be filled by people who must be competent.

After the various speeches, a round table was held, coordinated by Paolo Rizzi, Professor at Università Cattolica, who spoke of Piacenza as "a territory resilient to the pandemic, capable of responding to it with the Usca and home medicine", before giving the floor, among others, to Antonio Brambilla, General Director of Ausl of Modena, and Lucia Fontana, Mayor of Castelsangiovanni and President of the territorial social and health conference. "Many mayors live with anxiety", explained Fontana, "because the challenge is to seize opportunities, but there are no competences to do so. There is a sense of bewilderment, which can be resolved by cooperation between the mayors of large communities and those of small ones, who find themselves without weapons".

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Sabrina Cliti

Sabrina Cliti

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