Analyzes, ultrasound scans, vaccines and visits: this is what can be done in the shared housing

They are the heart of the new local health service, the one that was most lacking in the most dramatic months of the pandemic, where treatments closer to the citizens were needed. These are communal houses, and 1350 will be built throughout Italy thanks to the 2 billion that NRR is investing in us. In these structures, family and pediatricians, nurses, other specialists, rehabilitation technicians, social workers will work: here citizens will find the first treatment – visits, analyzes, initial diagnostics, vaccines and screening – to avoid unnecessarily crowded emergency rooms and hospitals. Some regions have already opened the first communal houses, and others will rise as early as next year to reach 1350 in 2026.

The identity of the new structure

The community center is a physical structure – several Regions aim to renovate disused or unused buildings – and the so-called “hub” (one for every 40-50,000 inhabitants) will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week with outpatients. activities classically planned six days a week for 12 hours and continuity assistance services also at night, including Sundays and public holidays. The family doctors and paediatricians will work in the common houses – at least 30-35 white coats – who will be able to spend part of their hours here or directly manage their clinic in the common house. The contribution of nurses will be basic (7 to 11 are provided in each structure), but a social worker and 5-8 units of socio-medical and administrative support staff are also offered on a permanent basis. Other health professionals can also work on it: from psychologists to rehabilitators to obstetricians.

Benefits guaranteed in community homes

The decree with the standard models of territorial assistance already signed by the Minister of Health Roberto Speranza and soon to be published in the Official Journal, it provides for a range of services which are to be provided by communal houses, or which in any case are highly recommended. First of all, the presence of a sampling point is foreseen, then a number of diagnostic services aimed at monitoring chronicity must be guaranteed: ultrasound, electrocardiograph, retinograph, oct, spirometer, etc. These tools can also be used through telemedicine, allowing for remote referral. Specialized outpatient services will then have to be activated for high-prevalence diseases (cardiologist, pulmonologist, diabetologist, etc.) and also collective prevention and health promotion services at the community level: from screening to all types of vaccinations up to the family consultants’ classic activities. Finally, in shared housing, it is possible to book specialist visits and activate care at home or the intervention of the social worker.

The new role of GPs

Health Minister Speranza is also working on another important element in the health of the future, and that is the new role of family doctors. In fact, a rule that should be included as an amendment to the Pnrr 2 decree aims to introduce a kind of hourly limit that in practice obliges GPs to work at least 18 hours a week in the new communal houses, while the remaining 20 hours should be. dedicated to traditional activity in their studies. After all, family doctors have ended up in the crosshairs several times during the pandemic’s two years for a rather marginal role in the fight against the virus. Hence the idea of ​​this change: their employment relationship – today the freelancers are linked to the national health service by a convention – would therefore be almost para-subordinate: the rule would give precise indications to the sector committee to work on new guiding law from which it new convention will come to life which will definitely change the face of family medicine.

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