In the last year, also in light of the approval of the new rules on health care for patients with lymphedema issued by the Italian Ministry of Health on our solicitation and with our collaboration, ITALF has promoted more initiatives of dissemination and informations in events open to health workers, patients, peoples, voluntary associations, companies and politicians, in various regions of Italy, and precisely: Sicilia, Calabria, Puglia, Marche, Basilicata, Campania, Umbria, Lazio, Piemonte. A number of partecipants between one hundred and fifty and three hundred peoples joined the events
Among other initiatives:
- The organization of a Campus for 20 patients with primary and secondary lymphedema aged between 19 and 75, held in the first week of August 2017 on the slopes of Mountain Pollino, in Basilicata. During the Campus there were several activities of assistance, education, information and ludic aspects that aroused great satisfaction among the participants and the volunteer workers who collaborated (Physiotherapists, doctors, psychologists).
- On 7-10 June 2018, a new Campus is scheduled in Piemonte Region, with health operator volunteers from the municipality of Alba, aimed at patients with secondary lymphoedema
- On July 8-15, the replication of the initiative last year on Pollino Mountain.
Also other ‘political’ initiatives have been undertaken:
- In Italy, patients with cancer disease benefit from the exemption from sharing health care, both for diagnostic investigations and for therapies. We have identified, however, about 15,000 subjects judged healed by the tumor, who have lost the exemption, but who remain with the secondary lymphedema caused by the tumor without more protection. We have reported the problem to the Ministry of Health that is providing to solve the problem with dedicated codes.
- We have also officially interested the National Social Security Institution (INPS) so that patients with primary and secondary lymphedema can benefit from reduced monthly working hours to be treated and in the specific judgment of disability and handicap.
The Heads of the Authority are preparing a document to be sent to the commissions, judging during the visit, that will be reviewed by us before the officialization,
Togheter with the Association of patients SOS Lymphoedema we are also organizing a national network of ‘patronage’, present in the territory that will take care, free of costs, to follow the paperwork necessary to patient care.
We are also preparing a detailed information leaflet explaining to patients, family doctors, care givers and health professionals how to deal with and solve the problems of the daily life patients suffering from lymphoedema.
Next National ITALF Congres will be held in Genoa the 30 November and 1 December 2018.
Dr. Sandro Michelini
President of ITALF
Rome June 1 2018