The backlash is not just on the economy and daily habits. By catalyzing the attention and efforts of the health system, Covid has ended up promoting mortality due to other diseases. Moreover, in just one year, it has led to a drop in life expectancy, also in Puglia and Basilicata.
This is in a nutshell what emerges from the latest report of the National Health Observatory in the Italian regions. The impact of the virus was not limited to deaths directly attributable to it: in fact, deaths from causes not related to respiratory diseases, such as dementias (+ 49%), hypertensive heart disease ( + 40.2%), diabetes (+ 40.7%), and ill-defined symptoms, signs and diseases (+ 43.1%). To get a more precise picture, the Observatory quantified non-Covid deaths in the months of March-April 2020 and compared these data with the 2015-2019 average. Heart disease in first place for causes of death (in Puglia 765 in March-April 2020 against a 2015-2019 average of 557; in Basilicata 124 against 104); followed by dementia and Alzheimer’s disease (in Puglia 343 against 308; in Basilicata 60 against 46) and diabetes mellitic (in Puglia 388 against 326; in Basilicata 60 against 54). This scenario – say the experts of the Observatory – can be attributed on the one hand to the difficulties in diagnosing a new pathology with consequent underestimation of the deaths actually due to Covid (especially in favor of pneumonia). On the other hand, the Coronavirus infection itself, together with the overload in which the regional health systems found themselves, could cause the worsening of patients with already compromised clinical pictures.
Life expectancy is updated as follows: in Puglia 84.5 years for women (-1 year and 4 months compared to 2019) and 80 for men (-8 months); in Basilicata 84.4 years for women (-4 months) and 79.7 years for men (-7 months).
Nationally, the variation between 2019-2020 of this indicator was -1.4 years for men and -1.0 years for women. At the regional level, the average life-long losses were different: for the male component, the negative record goes to Lombardy with a loss of 2.6 years, followed by Piedmont with 1.8 years and Valle d’Aosta, Trento and Liguria with 1.7 lost years.
Faced with this picture, FederAnisap, the National Federation of regional or interregional associations of private and / or accredited outpatient healthcare institutions, renews the “waiting lists” alarm. The national vice president (with delegation to the South), the Lucan Antonio Flovilla reiterates his full availability for a “prompt and effective collaboration” with the institutions and asks for a constructive meeting with the Ministers Speranza (Health) and Franco (Economy) “to outline the actions to be taken in the very short term “. «It is urgent – says Flovilla – to involve accredited healthcare facilities, in light of the dizzying increase in waiting times for outpatient healthcare services. Our Federation has already represented the role that the sector of accredited healthcare facilities has played and has played for decades, a role that today, with the attenuation of the epidemiological emergency, risks suffering an unsustainable slowdown, especially for users of the Health Service. national. FederAnisap reminds that throughout the country, many accredited healthcare facilities operate in the absence of an updated contract and are bound to funding systems that are completely insufficient to guarantee the provision of the activities in a homogeneous way on an annual basis, with the aggravating circumstance arising from the circumstance that the greater turnout of non-exempt patients, to whom the shareholding quota was now abolished, will cause very shortly, and in some cases has already caused, the exhaustion of the budgets, assigned with the contractual agreements, updated or extended, with a consequent further reduction of the benefits payable during the year. “It seems indelible – concludes Flovilla – the forecast of more incisive and urgent interventions, to prevent the structures from being in a position to interrupt assistance for the last months of the year, among other things at a time when it is essential to ” private healthcare aid to citizens, not only for the ordinary management of healthcare activities, but above all to protect the delicate situation of fragile patients such as cancer patients, to guarantee primary prevention activities, to monitor chronic diseases that need constant observation ».