The National Centre for Screening Monitoring - Eighth Report
The data in this report confirmthe progressive expansion of screening programmes. First and foremost, this shows the continuing positive efforts of the regional health systems. More than from the financial aspect, this effort is also characterised by great cultural and organizational commitment; the screening programmes implemented in our country represent an exemplary intervention of secondary prevention in public health.
On the other hand, however, the incomplete distribution of such interventions, considered by our legal system as Essential Levels of Care, becomes a litmus test for the crucial problems affecting regional systems, especially, but not only, in the South of Italy. In this context, activities of the central government have increased commitment with its planning.
Although at present neither the National Plan of Prevention, nor the National Cancer Plan have concluded the institutional process that will make them formalized planning instruments; both of these reaffirmtheir commitment to promoting the extension and improvement of cancer screening programmes. In fact, this is considered among the specific objectives of these two plans.
Regarding the first, screening programmes became models of intervention for secondary prevention mainly due to the involvement, based on solid scientific evidence, of all health system structures (hospital and area).
With regard to the Cancer Plan, aimed at putting Italy on the forefront in facing the burden of cancer, the mass-screening programmes actually involve the greatest number of people in activities against cancer.
Data collected in this report also show the need to guarantee the quality of the intervention more evenly. This effort must concentrate the resources and commitment of all the stakeholders: institutions, professionals, scientific societies, associations representing civil society, and the media. On the other hand, the evidence of things that need to be improved must not lead us to forget how seldom the quality of health interventions can be evaluated in other settings. It is therefore with great pleasure, as well as critical awareness, that I introduce this report with the hope of seeing the gap quickly filled that sometimes separates us fromfully achieving our objectives of distribution and quality, so that the work and commitment of so many workers can fully and effectively show the entire target population the benefits made possible by the health screening programmes.
General Prevention Director CCM Managing Director