Last week, after 15 years of wait, the new EASs (Essential Assistance Levels) were approved, through a measure signed by the Prime Minister, Paolo Gentiloni. They include the updated list of all the services and activities citizens can obtain by the National Healthcare Services (NHS), to ensure uniformity of treatment for everyone, everywhere in Italy.
The approved list of EASs includes some new services dispensed by the NHS, for free or paying a ticket; for instance, vaccinations against some forms of meningococcus, pneumococcus and HPV and the heterologous medical assisted fertilization. The list of rare and chronic diseases has been updated too, with diseases such as the celiac one passing from the first to the second group.
The approved EASs include news for disabled people too. It’s largely debated the fact that the Down syndrome, so far considered a “rare disease” (which implies the total dispensation from the ticket payment for all the healthcare services related to the specific disease), now passes among the “chronic diseases”, with the immediate consequence of restricting just to has had certified a 100% invalidity the total dispensation. News for people with autism as well: access to more advanced therapies, commitment to the inclusion and integration of the child with autism in the social life, through a stronger connection among healthcare, school and family.
Furthermore, the new EASs also redefine the prosthetic nomenclator, i.e. prostheses and aids that can be prescribed at the expenses (totally or partially) of the NHS, to facilitate the life of people with various disabilities. For instance, it will be possible to prescribe:
- IT and communication aids (including eye communicators and keyboards for people with severe disabilities);
- hearing aids based on digital technology, home automation tools and sensors to command and control the spaces (e.g. alarms and online rescue services);
- cutlery and furnishings for motoric disabilities, shower gurney, 4 wheels-scooter, wheelchairs with verticalizing system, wheelchairs for severe and complex disabilities, lifters both fixed and for bath tub, grab bars and armbands for the bath, stairlifts for interiors;
- artificial highly technological limbs and vocal recognition system and eye pointers.
Yet someone says the EASs are going to be reviewed in the upcoming weeks: let’s wait and see!