Millions invested but Lazio hospital ward never built

Policlinico Umberto I

ROME - The Italian State paid more than 10 million euros to the Lazio Region over a 25 year period for the construction of an adult ward for patients with cystic fibrosisin the Policlinico Umberto I, the second largest public hospital in Italy. However, the structure has never been built.

 From 1994 to 2016, as a result of the law n. 548, the region received almost 500,000 euros each year from the Italian State for the construction. Money, the region explained, “which the Policlinico has constantly drawn,” but which has never been used for the purpose which it should have served, Il Fatto Quotidiano reported. 

 As a result, in recent years some 300 people suffering from cystic fibrosis have continually been referred to the pediatric departments of the Bambino Gesù and Umberto I hospitals instead of being welcomed by a specific department that is heavily funded. The Bambino Gesù only has 25 places, while Umberto I only has 10 places in their pediatric departments. 

 “This adult population does not receive assistance or adequate care,” reads a correspondence between Silvia Ranocchiari, a member of the Italian Cystic Fibrosis League Lazio, and the technical secretary of Nicola Zingaretti, as "it is quite evident that the problems of an adult and the type of medical specialties needed are completely different from the pediatric ones.” Furthermore, “adults with cystic fibrosis today receive assistance and care in a totally surreptitious way from pediatric facilities and staff."

 The Roman hospital now wants to build the department, with only 11 places, but at the expense of the Italian Cystic Fibrosis League (Lifc).

 “The funding is in no way bound to the needs of an adult department for people with cystic fibrosis but is provided as a contribution to the functioning of the reference centre, functioning for all patients with this pathology,” explained Lazio Health Commissioner Alessio D'Amato. The hospital should therefore invest at least part of the funds received in these two decades in a suitable structure for the treatment of cystic fibrosis.