After the controversy over the cuts, the Minister of Health, Orazio Schillaci, announced the refinancing through an amendment to the Milleproroghe decree. Furthermore, new services have been identified that patients will be able to access free of charge
Resources of 10 million euros for 2024 to be allocated to the treatment of eating disorders which affect around 3 million people in Italy alone. After days of controversy over cuts to the Fund for combating nutrition and eating disorders, the Minister of Health, Orazio Schillaci, announced its refinancing through an amendment to the Milleproroghe decree, also adding that with the updating of the Lea (Essential levels of care) patients will be able to receive additional outpatient services exempt.
The refinancing of the fund
In recent days, 40 associations of patients’ families had expressed concern about the failure to renew the financing, underlining how the centers for the treatment of eating disorders were thus at risk of closure. They had also written to the minister and Prime Minister Meloni to ask for the extension of the appropriations. Furthermore, demonstrations against the cuts had been announced in several cities for next Friday. The 2022 budget law, Schillaci explained to the Chamber yesterday during a question time, had provided for the establishment at the Ministry of Health of a Fund with an allocation of 15 million for 2022 and 10 for 2023. By October 31st ” the Regions and autonomous Provinces will have to send a financial accounting report. For now, intermediate reports have been presented which show that the Regions have committed 59% of the financing and spent only 3% of the overall financing”, he stated. Pending the full operation of the new tariff nomenclature and the further updating of the LEAs, “expected for the first half of 2024 – the minister announced – I have decided to make the Extraordinary Fund available, despite the absence of complete reporting by the regions, a fund of 10 million euros for 2024”.
Free services increase
For those suffering from these disorders, free services are also increasing: to date, patients suffering from anorexia and bulimia can benefit from the appropriate outpatient specialist services for monitoring the disorder free of charge, explained Schullaci. But with the entry into force of the new nomenclature, scheduled for April 1st, “the patients will be able to access 16 new outpatient specialist services and as part of the proposal to update the LEAs, the commission has highlighted the importance of introducing further 16 outpatient care services to be granted exempt for the monitoring and prevention of related complications, which when added to the previous ones will become 32”. The entry into force of the new tariff nomenclature and the new LEAs will “finally guarantee full financial coverage in a structural way for the provision of services for the benefit of all patients with these disorders, effectively making it no longer necessary for an extraordinary temporary fund which it has been tested so far”, added the minister.