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Italy's chronically ill, disabled hampered by the system

'Late diagnoses, no primary or secondary prevention'

13 December, 20:13
Italy's chronically ill, disabled hampered by the system (ANSA) - Rome, December 13 - Italy's healthcare system is afflicted by little chronic-disease prevention and lengthy waits before diagnoses are made, new data showed Friday.

For example, some women wait up to eight years before getting diagnosed with endometriosis, a common and painful condition that can cause infertility if left untreated, according to an overview of associations for the chronically ill by Cittadinanzattiva consumer protection non-profit.

The report said 75% of the associations reported late diagnoses and 53% reported insufficient primary prevention, or doctors telling patients how to avoid disease through lifestyle changes.

Another 60% said secondary prevention, or early diagnoses which are the key to reducing the damage potential of illnesses, was inadequate or non-existent. People with disabilities also reported hardship, with 44% more patients unable to get their condition properly recognized in 2013 than in 2011, and 21% more handicapped people unable to get disabled parking permits now than two years ago.