Among the ‘missions’ of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, launched by the Draghi Government, the digital modernization of the technological park in Italian hospitals, including linear accelerators, is one of the main tools used for oncological radiotherapy.
The investment of 1.19 billion euros (out of the total 4.05 foreseen for this point) involves the purchase of 3,133 new large equipment with high technological content (CT, magnetic resonance, linear accelerators, Fixed X-ray System, angiographs, Gamma Camera, Gamma Camera / TAC, Mammography, Ultrasound) characterized by an age greater than 5 years, by the end of 2024.
An important step forward that AIRO – Italian Association of Radiotherapy and Clinical Oncology welcomes with great satisfaction, because in line with the Association’s commitment to guaranteeing the best possible oncological radiotherapy treatment for all citizens, in an equitable manner throughout the national territory.
“We are very satisfied that the PNRR includes investment in technological and digital modernization, which is a key element of modern medicine – declares Vittorio Donato, Head of the Oncology and Specialized Medicine Department, Director of the Radiotherapy Division, AO San Camillo Forlanini of Rome and President of AIRO – and above all that the areas of interest have been diversified, taking into consideration not only the diagnostic equipment but also the machinery for oncological radiotherapy. After so many years, we are faced with a wide-ranging technological modernization project on the national territory, which is not linked to the requests of individual hospitals and which seeks to organize the updating of equipment in an organic and rational way. A radical change of pace, which tends to an important goal to be pursued as soon as possible: to make the most up-to-date equipment available, in a fair way throughout the country, to guarantee the best radiotherapy treatment to patients, in the same way as what already happens with oncological drugs innovative “.
“The Giuseppe Dossetti Association, strongly committed to the issue of the age of the technology park since 2017, wants to start working immediately with the institutions – explains Vittorio Sironi, expert in the history of medicine of the Cultural Association “Giuseppe Dossetti: Values - Protection and Development of Rights” – clarifying the numbers and methods of assigning machinery in the area, and starting to lay the foundations for a long-term future planning, beyond 2024 indicated by the PNRR. The Recovery plan is a historic opportunity to renew the technological park of structures and hospitals, but an innovative approach will be required, which focuses on investment planning, HTA, professionalism, interdisciplinarity and strategic vision of industrial policy“.
SNR – National Radiological Area Union, engaged in the protection of the professional specificities of the radiological area (radiotherapy, nuclear medicine, diagnostics), also participates in the debate, introduced by Professor Vittorio Donato, Head of the High Technology Assessment Department of the Scientific Committee of the Giuseppe Dossetti Association. for imaging and neuroradiology).
“The investment envisaged by the National Recovery and Resilience Plan in the radiological area is very significant, with numbers that have been largely foreseen – he comments Corrado Bibbolino, SNR-National Syndicate of Radiological Area – even if they probably need a minimum adjustment, also in relation to what has been done in recent months by the Regions and CONSIP with the purchase of high-tech and traditional radiology machines. Other important issues are the allocation of this equipment and how to use it, i.e. having enough trained medical personnel available to make the most of it. Newly graduated radiologists are certainly able to use the most modern equipment, but they must be hired: in Italian hospitals there is a problem of generational change, with an average age of the medical staff of 57, even in the radiological field “.