Editorial on ‘Sanità24 – Sole24Ore’ regarding Structural Heart Disease & MEP Sandra Gancia

MEP Sandra Gancia spoke out on SHD and the relevance of this issue in the framework of healthcare and social policies in the editorial Care and prevention: guarantee to elderly equal and efficient healthcare system across Europe published on 15 May 2019 by Sole24Ore Sanità. Equity, sensitivity towards public health and a citizens’ needs, friendly responsive and fair society are stressed upon SHD as emerging disease with relevant impact in the coming years.

Due to the increasing life expectancy, healthcare planning and cost management will become much more important – at European, national and regional level as well. Policies to preserve senior people in shape and productive are crucial to offset the growing burden of age-related diseases such as SHD, where early detection and appropriate intervention can effectively contribute to sustainability of healthcare system and bring value to society as a whole. Policymakers’ commitment to develop adequate measures targeting this scope embodies MEPs mandate for a better Europe.

A joint EU commitment is needed to adopt policies and take actions leading Member States – and Italy in particular, having the longest life expectancy and being the most rapidly ageing country in the area – to shift from old-people-made countries to for-old-people-made countries.

A national engagement to defend the value of older people is needed as well as attention to all their life areas. Prevention, early diagnosis and timely treatment are crucial to avoid functional decline and reduce both risks and budgetary healthcare expenses related to SHDs. Italian engagement must serve the urgency for effective policies that guaranty a fair and proactive society at the service of its citizens.