Editorial on ‘Sanità24 – Sole24Ore’ regarding Structural Heart Disease & MEP Brando Benifei

‘Sole24Ore Sanità’ published Hon. Brando Benifei’s presentation of the EU fully endorsed Manifesto for Structural Heart Disease within its editorial Cronicità: European Manifesto on SHD(Chronicity) of 29 April 2019. An EU Member States Joint effective action was urgently called for to unite and harmonize efforts in order to tackle SHD and ensure equal opportunity to all EU citizens while fostering homogeneous progress in prevention, early diagnosis, person tailored multidisciplinary evaluation and patient best adapted treatment.

The demographic changes redesigning Europe’s portrait and most evidently Italy’s due to population quickly growing older shall plausibly turn out to have serious spillovers upon economy and the national as well as the Union’s growth rate unless healthy active ageing is assured allowing seniors to continue be part of the productive circuit. Italy’s increased life expectancy will bring the country to count up to 20 million nationals well over 65 years of age. A harshest impact over social security schemes and healthcare assistance together with a subsequent substantial raise in healthcare expenditures are also forecastable leading to the need of re-thinking the Italian national healthcare budgetary plan and foster prevention as well as early diagnosis. Serious, rational and cost-effective investments need be made upon most relevant pathologies and upon SHD in particular.

The European Manifesto for a Healthier Europe is calling for joining action upon SHD as the crucial and decisive way to turn the exponential ageing of the population into an opportunity for all citizens to live longer, live better. Each EU member is called up to play its part starting from Italy as the oldest and most rapidly ageing. This highlights the need for national and regional decision makers to a take effective target-focussed action with particular attention to SHD not only as mere preventable and successfully treatable pathologies but also as age-related diseases causing functional decline and a serious loss of autonomy often implying marginalization.  Healthcare policies must be foreseen and adopted to prevent SHD insurgency and assure timely patient-tailored most evolved treatment.