In 2010, in Italy, the law entitled “Provisions to guarantee access to palliative care and pain therapy” (L.38 / 2010) entered into force. An innovative law, among the first in Europe, which in the context of essential levels of assistance, ensures the patient at every stage of the disease, in particular in the terminal one, access to palliative care and pain therapy with the aim of guaranteeing the right to care, respect for the dignity and autonomy of the human person, equity in accessing care, the quality of care and its appropriateness with regard to the specific needs.
Among the most relevant aspects of the law, the training of medical and health personnel was foreseen and specific training courses were identified, criteria for the establishment of masters and, at the State-Regions Conference, professional figures with specific skills and experience in the field were identified.
In 2014 the State-Regions Conference identified in the figures of the specialist doctor in anesthesia, intensive care and resuscitation, in the specialist in oncology, hematology, geriatrics, internal medicine, infectious diseases, neurology and radiotherapy those professional figures who have the task of collaborating with general practitioner in the application of palliative care and pain therapy.
The decree of 4 June 2015 of the Ministry of Health identified the requirements that doctors, not in possession of specialisation, would have had to apply for professional certification in palliative care, that is at least three years of professional activity since the entry into force of the Law 147/2013 in a public or private structure accredited by the Region. No specific training path had ever been activated. Until today.
On Monday 29 June, the Chamber Budget Committee unanimously approved an amendment to the Relaunch Decree establishing the “School of Specialization in Medicine and Palliative Care” for graduates in medicine and surgery from the 2020/2021 academic year and inserts the course of palliative care among the compulsory courses of the School of Specialisation in Paediatrics.
“A great cultural boost – explains Trizzino, first signatory of the amendment – which has seen professionals and voluntary associations in the front row who have traced a long and winding road that today reaches this goal. It is right that specialists in palliative care accompany the end of life of each person with the necessary university skills and training and this must be done within a care path that includes numerous actors. The General Practitioner remains an irreplaceable point of reference and with him the figure of the nurse who represents the cornerstone around which assistance is developed. Psychologists, physiotherapists, social workers, volunteers and spiritual assistants make up the care team and each with their own skills and specific curricular training.”
As Steadfast we can only be satisfied with what has been approved. We will follow the legislative process ensuring that we move from words to deeds in order to guarantee the due respect and support for all sicks and their families who face painful situations. It is especially in these moments of fragility that human life must be recognised the dignity it is worthy of, in whatever condition it is and at any age.


Emmanuele Di Leo Emmanuele Di Leo

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