Covid, 164 thousand recovered from serious forms: in the ministry plan free treatment for 2 years

Free checks and treatments for 2 years and a monitoring plan to take care of all patients with severe form of Covid-19, discharged from hospital and judged cured. This is what is foreseen by the measure to which the Minister of Health, Roberto Speranza, is working in view of the Sostegni bis decree. The plan is based on data from the Higher Institute of Health, according to which about 164 thousand patients with severe forms of Covid-19 are cured and discharged from hospitals, more than a third of whom reside in Lombardy: they will be enrolled in the monitoring . These patients will be able to use for 2 years, free of charge and with the total exemption of the ticket, the diagnostic and specialist outpatient services of the National Health Service which are part of the follow-up activities on the possible consequences of the virus. A follow-up that will also serve to acquire information on the outcomes of this pathology, still to be investigated just a year and a half after its appearance. “For this reason I have proposed that 50 million euros be allocated for the NHS to take charge of free of charge, with diagnostic tests and therapies, all patients most affected by the virus even after discharge from the hospital. This measure will also allow us to start monitoring to acquire further data to be made available to our researchers “, explains Speranza in a note in which the details of the provision in the pipeline are explained. Why Covid-19 can leave its mark for a long time. And also internationally for some time there has been discussions on how to deal with the sequelae of the virus. Scientists are trying to define that syndrome called ‘long Covid’ and also want to photograph the longer-term damage caused by the serious disease. The package that has been provided includes health services for the control of the most affected functions, respiratory, cardiac, renal and blood coagulation: from blood tests – tests such as blood count, ESR, creatinine, just to name a few – to the dynamic electrocardiogram, from spirometry to the walk test, up to the CT scan of the chest. The intention is to allocate approximately 50 million euros to the follow-up of Covid patients until 2023, which should be divided into over 24 million euros for the current year, around 20 million for 2022 and just under 6 million euros for 2023. Resources that will be used precisely for what has been defined as the ‘National experimental monitoring protocol’, which provides for the provision – free of charge – of outpatient specialist services contained in the essential levels of assistance (Lea) also appropriate based on the severity of the patient’s symptoms, for the prevention and early diagnosis of any outcomes or complications, for people who over time could report chronic effects following Covid with a severe clinical picture. These are often elderly people who could have cardiac and pulmonary consequences and in whom it is essential to identify the development of pulmonary fibrosis or heart disease early. A multidisciplinary evaluation is foreseen for older patients and, in particular, for those who have experienced intensive or sub-intensive therapy, a psychological interview is also provided.