Lombardia regional parliament endorses Italian ONDA foundation’s initiative for a joint engagement in fostering active ageing as a key trump to tackling Structural Heart Diseases


On its vocational path to promoting primary prevention, early diagnosis and appropriate person-tailored treatment the National Observatory on Women and Gender Health, ONDA Foundation organized a Regional event on Structural Heart Diseases ‘To the heart of Active Ageing. For a healthy healthcare system’ which was held in Milan on 18th September 2019 under the auspices of the Lombardia Region. The meeting was focused on the urgency to meet priority imperatives emerging from national and regional data analysis and attended by highly qualified medical experts, dignitaries and top-ranking Regional authorities, namely Vice Chairman of the Regional Council, Carlo Borghetti; Assessor for Family Policies, Silvia Piani; Chairperson of Health Committee, Emanuele Monti; Counsellor of Health Committee Michele Usuelli. While President of the Region, Attilio Fontana, addressed his message to the plenary through an open letter, two members of the European Parliament, Brando Benifei and Angelo Ciocca, sent their video-messages stressing the importance of promoting active ageing and praising Lombardia Region for supporting the initiative wishing for future events to follow on.

Same were the wish and recommendation expressed by the Delegate from SIGG (Italian Society of Gerontology and Geriatrics), Prof Matteo Cesari; the Chairperson of GISE (Italian Society of Interventional Cardiology), Prof. Giuseppe Tarantini; the Representative of SICCH (Italian Society of Cardiac Surgery), Prof Augusto D’Onofrio and the Director-General of Brescia ATS (Local Healthcare Authority), Dr. Claudio Sileo, perfectly fitting the goals expressed by the European Manifesto for a Healthier Europe, promoted at European level by the Italian MEP Brando Benifei.

The meeting documents including agenda and press release are available here.

 As a final synthesis, a number of politically relevant key-messages and institutionally binding recommendations are worth a light of faith in a meet-progress roadmap that will mark the future of active ageing and SDH related policies in the Region, namely: give relevance to promoting active ageing and fostering awareness on SHD (10,000 new cases of severe aortic stenosis hit the region each year, 30% of which are asymptomatic); promote early diagnosis and medical innovation to reach for a cost-effective regional healthcare budgetary scheme; drawing patient-tailored therapeutic paths to ensure best possible assistance care; orient and define national level measures to contribute setting up framework policies granting equal and uniform access to care and quicker innovation means adoption. 
The meeting was an opportunity to reinforce and nurture region-to-nation links of collaboration and opened news ways of enriching interaction between regional (territory-linked), national and EU institutions for a growingly closer and consistent opportunity-building dialogue. The role of civil society and Associations was clearly emerging as highly important in the light of progressing together. 

Hon. Attilio Fontana brilliantly expresses the involvement of the Region of Lombardia in tackling SHD in a letter addressed to the plenary on 18.09.2019

Dear all,

I am pleased to hereby convey my personal regards and thankfulness to all participants, to the dignified speakers attending the session and to the members of ONDa Foundation who have organized this important meeting thereby offering us the opportunity to exchange views and knowledge over such a relevant issue within the present demographic context.

Structural Heart Diseases linked to age are growingly increasing and calling for a most careful attention from institutions: an effective healthcare budgetary plan must be set up to foster progresses in medicine so as to limit elderly individuals’ loss of self-sufficiency and autonomy with subsequent marginalization.

The Lombardia Region is well aware the urgency for concrete prevention action, early detection and timely treatment. Our Regional framework is already providing a wide range of services aimed at supporting the daily action and assistance to people finding themselves in difficulty and is working towards tailoring its assistance scheme upon the needs of patients and their families.

Integration between clinical-functional and socio-assistance is a key-condition for providing an adequate response based on a person-centred project.  The active contribution from Lombard Associations in this respect is precious.

This meeting is an opportunity to promote new and original paths, to respond the needs emerging from realities that have evolved and undergone changes in time such as public healthcare assistance policies, which our regional regulation on the evolution of health and social care as well as of assistance scheme itself is ruling out for.

I am finally praising this initiative for focussing upon preventable and treatable diseases while calling us to put on a joint action at the European level in order to provide for substantial improvement in the Quality of Life of our citizens.  (Sd Attilio Fontana – President, Regione Lombardia).