Unfortunately there are no specialists: in Italy they are 10 thousand less than the European average: the data in a “White Book” just published by the Italian Speech Therapists Federation
After the admissions to intensive care due to Covid-19, many patients have been intubated they had to “learn” to speak or swallow again: so requests for intervention for speech therapists have increased by 30 percent compared to before the pandemic. Unfortunately in Italy there are fewer speech therapists than would be desirable: according to the data published in the new White Paper of the Federation of Italian Speech Therapists, in our country they are 40 percent less than the European average and about 10 thousand are missing.
An absence that is felt especially now because the pandemic has generated a boom of questions, as the speech therapist Tiziana Rossetto, FLI president explains: “Many patients who have ended up in intensive care must regain some primary skills: after having spent even thirty or sixty days in resuscitation for many, especially adults or elderly, a precise path of rehabilitation to start talking, swallowing or eating properly again. Prolonged intubation, for example, has consequences on both speech and swallowing, two specific fields of competence of the speech therapist “.
Lack of specialists
To manage the increase in requests, Italian speech therapists have launched initiatives of telelogopedia to guarantee remote support to patients already in treatment, they have also drawn up guidelines for the management of Covid-19 which have also been taken as a model abroad. But as emerges from the White Paper just presented by FLI, speech therapists are still too few: “In Italy there are about 15 thousand specialists, 24 for every 100 thousand inhabitants, against a European average of 40 per 100 thousand,” says Rossetto. “The approximately 840 graduates who register each year are not enough to bridge the gap with other countries and the consequences of this shortage are unfortunately borne by the citizen and patient. To give just two examples, waiting lists are now over a year; moreover, adults and the elderly in acute and chronic phases, such as patients with post-stroke aphasia, chronic degenerative diseases or dementias cannot be taken care of ».
November 22, 2021 (change November 22, 2021 | 14:09)