Messina, to guarantee the continuity of the Don Orione Center

The structure, the Municipality and the ASP are looking for an agreement not to interrupt the rehabilitation activities aimed at people with severe and very serious disabilities. An essential reality for many families

MESSINA – Guarantee the continuity of a service that is now fundamental. It was reiterated during the work of the Health Council Commission, chaired by Dino Bramanti and even earlier by some questions, including that of the director of FdI Libero Gioveni, in conjunction with the drafting of the Budget. The reference is to Don Orione residential rehabilitation center for the severely disabled, so the last memorandum of understanding will expire tomorrow, stipulated in 2018 with the Municipality of Messina and the Asp.

An important city reality that since 2001 it has been involved in assisting around forty people with severe and very serious disabilities 24 hours a day. The Center, due to its health importance, is financed through a partnership between the Municipality and Asp; the total annual expenditure incurred is one million 750 thousand euros, of which 350 thousand euros paid by the health authority. The new agreement could provide for a change in the financing with an increase in the contribution disbursed by the ASP, given that the Covid emergency requires particular protection measures for patients and operators and therefore an increase in the costs to be incurred. The RSAs have been indicated as places at risk, where the virus was lethal, according to national data, for 3.4% of the hosts. Even the Don Orione Center was not spared from infections, with cases ascertained in December and others a few weeks ago, outbreaks in any case limited, but which required special measures.

The councilor for social policies, Alessandra Calafiore, reassured the willingness of the parties involved to renew the understanding that would allow the Don Orione Institute to re-entrust the management of assistance to the Faro 85 cooperative and its 55 operators for at least another three years. The Municipality of Messina has never thought of suspending the disbursement of the loan and therefore of renewing the agreement but it seems that the ASP instead tried at first to withdraw.

“The mayor Cateno De Luca – the commissioner specified – as early as January has asked the ASP for a meeting for the renewal of the protocol concerning the management of the socio-rehabilitation center. Following a further reminder made by us in February to call a meeting, we were notified by the dg Paolo La Paglia the refusal to renew the agreement as, following the assessments carried out, there would be no conditions to guarantee, in the the next few years, the all-inclusive economic contribution provided for in the memorandum of understanding signed with the Municipality of Messina on 30 March 2018. Instead, on Thursday we received a note from the new ASP director general Bernardo Alagna, which not only confirmed the legislation regarding the management of residential structures, which provides for the competence of the ASP almost exclusively, but also made it available to meet quickly to define the new protocol ”.

It is not the first time that the renewal of the agreement has been called into question between the Institute, the Municipality and the Asp, thus risking the interruption of the service. In 2010, the survival of the structure was at the center of a long debate and only after a few months a new agreement was reached, especially after the pressure of the families of the disabled guests and the workers of Faro 85.

The story of the disabled, now housed in the Rehabilitation Center, began in 1991, when the psycho-medical pedagogical institute of Villa Quiete was transferred to an accommodation community, Villa Lucciola, a decentralized, dilapidated and poorly equipped care facility for a so delicate service. Thus in 2001 the patients were transferred to the current residence. The Center made available by Don Orione is among the few of its kind in the South: a structure that offers free of charge, to children with very serious disabilities, a medical assistance service with the availability of 1800 square meters divided into three floors and large open spaces.

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