The new 2023-2027 Oncology Plan, approved by the State-Regions Conference, aims at an ambitious goal: to ensure the best therapies and ensure that cancer survivors, who today exceed 3.5 million, can fully return to their life as well as professional and social life. Measures to “facilitate social integration and reintegration into the workplace, including the adaptation of working conditions for cancer patients – the Plan reads – should be an integral part of the patient’s journey”.
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Prevention, digitization and integrated assistance
The key points of this programmatic document are prevention, clear and homogeneous treatment paths, attention to the patient and to those who assist him at 360 degrees. Without forgetting digitization to streamline bureaucracy, increasingly home-based assistance integrated with the hospital, local services and rehabilitation programs aimed not only at physical recovery but also at reintegration into the workplace. “The training of health professionals and information campaigns for citizens, nutritional and psychological support, the expansion of age groups for screening, palliative care at home and the strengthening of vaccination coverage also play an important role”, he adds. Cinieri.
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Home care and telemedicine
The aim is also to fully implement oncology networks in all Regions, with a view to promoting increasingly home-based and integrated assistance between the hospital and local services, making use of the new Community Homes, through the implementation of telemedicine and the enhancement the role of family doctors, paediatricians and community nurses. In particular, four strategic lines are outlined: to activate territorial rehabilitation courses from the beginning of the oncological course; increase the provision of structured exercise programmes; activate hospital and territorial psychological support interventions for patients and caregivers; implement return-to-work programs in collaboration with relevant physicians. “Our Scientific Society has always highlighted the importance of prevention, the first weapon in the fight against cancer, given that 40% of cases can be avoided by acting on preventable risk factors – continues President Cinieri. The other important issue, hitherto unresolved, concerns the strengthening of the territory and the need to invest in home cancer care Bringing treatments closer to people also facilitates accessibility, impacts on life expectancy and favors savings for patients, too often impoverished after diagnosis of tumours. In Italy less than 70% of Oncology can count on home care. We hope that the adoption of the new Plan will be a stimulus to improve the levels of care for our patients”.
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More financial resources
Aiom oncologists express satisfaction by rattling off data: “We are satisfied with the approval of the new National Oncological Plan by the State-Regions Conference. It is an important step in the commitment against cancer. In 2022, in Italy, 390,700 new diagnoses have been estimated. In two years, the increase was 14,100 cases. Oncology is a cornerstone of the National Health Service, but it must be supported with structural measures, such as those outlined in the Plan. Now we need adequate resources ” declares Saverio Cinieri, president of the Italian Association of Medical Oncology (AIOM). In fact, the legislative proposal for the financing of the Plan is still underway with a fund of 20 million euros for the years 2023 and 2024. This figure contained in the milleproroghe decree is a starting point to be increased”.