A few days ago the go-ahead was given to the universal single allowance for children, valid up to 21 years of children e operational from 1 July with the 2021 Budget Law.
The purpose of this measure – which provides for € 200/250 per month per child – is to bring order between the various bonuses and family allowances, concentrating resources in a single solution, as is already the case in some European countries.
Some important observations come from the SIP, the Italian Society of Pediatrics, and from the SIN, Italian Society of Neonatology. Fabio Mosca, president of the SIN, e Alberto Villani, president of the SIP, commented on the approval in the Senate of the “Delegation to the Government to reorganize, simplify and strengthen the measures in support of dependent children through the single and universal allowance”, declaring that aid is needed for the families of premature babies and of “fragile” babies.
Mosca and Villani said:
“The approval in the Senate of the universal single allowance for children is a first important step towards revisiting the measures in support of families, for which credit must be given to the Minister for Equal Opportunities and the Elena Bonetti family and to all the Government. The Family Act finally represents a more organic and structured approach to remitting the family at the center of all economic and social policies and to counter the serious problem of denatality, accentuated by the pandemic in progress.
However, we must not forget the most fragile subjects, like the premature babies and all children with serious illnesses. The birth of a premature baby and its subsequent discharge require special attention but also resources to allow families to follow him in the most appropriate way “.
In Italy they are about 30,000 per year children who are born before the term of pregnancy, of which about 4,500 with a weight of 1500 grams and severe prematurity (32 weeks of gestation), therefore at high risk.
There are then babies who present at birth particular problems linked to fetal-neonatal suffering, metabolic diseases or the presence of complex syndromes and rare diseases, with a high risk of chronicity.
In a year they are about 16,500 “fragile” newborns (3.5%), at high risk of developing problems during growth and requiring a precise and intense program of clinical and psychological follow-up and family support.
Follow-up services have the task not just to continue treatment after discharge, but also to carry out the early diagnosis of neurological and sensory disorders, which allows the timely sending of small patients to local services for their rehabilitation.
Starting early rehabilitation measures allows you to prevent or limit a handicap, ensuring the best possible development of the child.
To date, in Italy the Follow-up Services of the newborn represent one very varied and heterogeneous reality, often insufficient as for structural and personnel resources, as they are not officially recognized by the National Health System, which does not provide for adequate remuneration for the specialist services performed.
«The funds of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR) represent a great opportunity for our country to focus attention on the weakest. We therefore ask that the new resources are also destined to establish a network of Follow-up Services in each Region to follow premature or chronic infants in a lasting way in their growth path and to support their families also with a adequate home assistance ”, specify Mosca and Villani.