If you are an Apulian or Campania cancer patient, you can continue to take advantage of radiotherapy services at the Gemelli Molise hospital. A Molise who is fighting a tumor will have to contact structures outside the region from 1 October, that is the day on which the former Cattolica will cease to provide life-saving benefits not paid by the Region. Molise.
The shocking announcement is made by the president of Gemelli Molise Stefano Petracca in a meeting with the press in which Professor Francesco Deodato, director of the Radiotherapy Unit in thethe only regional health unit that carries out radiotherapy (among other things with an excellent team and machinery). “It is not a choice dictated by the will of Gemelli Molise, but it depended on the will of the commissioner (Donato Toma, ed) and the commissioner structure that set an insurmountable expenditure ceiling for the provision of life-saving radiotherapy services in favor of cancer patients in Molise. For patients from outside the region this ceiling does not exist“, Explains the president of the Campobasso hospital. Spending ceilings introduced with a decree in 2020 and which have initiated a series of disputes also by other structures for the so-called ‘extra-budgetary services’.
“We regret having to give this news just when the Gemini turns 20 years of activity”, but “the commissioner dwelt on a sentence of the Council of State of this year which established that it is legitimate to foresee an expenditure ceiling, also for life-saving cancer services, however, specifying that it is the task of the Regions to determine them based on the real needs of the territory “, specifies the founder of Responsible Capital, the Swiss fund that last spring acquired 90% of the hospital’s shares from the Agostino Gemelli IRCCS University Hospital Foundation, investing over 30 million euros.
Twenty-eight, on the other hand, are the millions of credits accrued so far by the Largo Gemelli center. While the expenditure ceiling set by the Molise Region for radiotherapy amounts to 5.5 million of Euro. In 2021, against this budget, the Gemelli has a turnover 7.8 million to provide these services to Molisans. In practice, 2 million more.
The Gemini has cured in the last ten years more than 7 thousand cancer patientslast year there were 800. This year, until August, 850 patients have benefited from the services of the center. Numbers reminiscent of Professor Deodato who has pitted in detail all the cutting-edge services provided by the structure. “Before the opening of this center, the Molisans turned to hospitals outside the region”, adds the director of the radiotherapy operating unit.
The meetings in recent months and the dialogue with Commissioner Donato Toma have been of no use. For this reason, the press was convened today (2 September) after “a series of discussions with the health commissioner that led to nothing. Our contractual proposals were ignored ”.
So, “we are in one absurd situation in which the expenditure ceiling set by the commissioner structure does not reflect the needs of patients since we are the only center in Molise that carries out this type of service. We have given more than one ultimatum why we are running out of the expenditure ceiling foreseen by the Region “. The future for Molise patients? Dramatic. “They will have to go back to the structures outside the region: the two closest centers for oncological radiotherapy are an hour and a half away from Molise. For people, the discomfort and difficulties to carry out cycles of this type (which last several weeks with daily treatments) will increase with an infringement also of their right to health which is guaranteed by the Constitution. They will have to get away from home, go to facilities and maybe wait longer because of the waiting lists. On the other hand, non-Molise patients will be able to continue to be treated at Gemelli ”.
Not just radiotherapy. Cardiac surgery also risks an interruption for the same reason. “We have presented an investment plan, but with this political attitude we will no longer invest in this region”, the cryptic words of the president of Gemelli. “It is not a double joke, but a triple, quadruple”.
The Molisans will therefore also have to pay in terms of passive mobility that this situation will determine on the regional health coffers. All this after years in which there has been talk of increasing active mobility and the possibility of resolving the debt by attracting patients from outside the region thanks to the presence of excellent facilities such as Gemelli.
“We trust in the common sense of those who govern this region to avert this health emergency – concludes the president of the private hospital – What should happen to avoid the blockade? The commissioner should inform us by this weekend and in writing that we can continue to provide this service to Molise patients ”.
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