The note of the Italian Disability Movement
People with motor disabilities can finally carry out motor activities or amateur sports using the latest generation aids and prostheses provided by the National Health Service, as established by a recent Ministerial Decree.
And yet, in the provision that introduced the measure, the unjustified exclusion from the benefits of children under 10 and the fact that in the experimental phase the person with disabilities must necessarily choose between prostheses and aids, even if they need both devices.
Disabled civilians with amputated limbs and / or those affected by paraparesis or paraplegia or quadriparesis who practice , or are able to practice individual amateur motor or sports activities in an age group between 10 and 64 years. For minors under the age of 18 there is no certification of civil disability “, thus reads the first article of the Health Decree-MEF (Ministry of Health-Ministry of Economy and Finance), which implements the provisions aimed at encourage the performance of amateur sports activities for people with physical disabilities, as provided for by Law 77/20 (article 104, paragraph 3-bis).
We can certainly welcome the fact that people with motor disabilities can finally carry out recreational motor or sports activities being able to use the latest generation aids and prostheses, without having to pay for them out of their own pocket. And yet, apart from the obsolete and stigmatizing language that still survives in the juridical sphere, the law excludes children under 10 from benefits.
Allowing children to get involved from an early age is fundamental, and so is allowing them to familiarize themselves with their disability and all those “supports”, whether they are wheelchairs or prostheses, which can put them in the conditions to live sport fully. The same Council of the European Union, with the approval of the conclusions on access to sport for people with disabilities (2019 / C 192/06 – GUE 07/06/2019) strongly invited the States to provide financial support to organizations dedicated to the promotion of sport for people with disabilities, to promote the participation of the same persons with disabilities in ordinary sporting activities at all levels, to contribute to the effective fulfillment of the social and educational function of sport. The fact that minors are not, except in rare cases, attributed a percentage of disability does not mean that the latter is not recognized. Although we can see the goodness of intent in the initiative promoted by the two ministries of health and economics, excluding the youngest from access to the latest generation of prostheses and aids represents an obtuse, as well as unjustified inequality of treatment “.
Another critical element is given by the fact that, in the experimental phase, which is the current one, the simultaneous supply of prostheses and aids is not allowed, and the person with disabilities is forced to choose between one and the other also in case you need both devices. But let’s see in detail some provisions contained in the Decree.
The supply of prostheses and aids is guaranteed by the National Health Service within the spending limits of 5 million euros, and concerns components with advanced technology or devices specially designed to carry out motor activities or amateur sports.
To access the provision of the aforementioned devices, a certificate of fitness for carrying out recreational motor sports activities is required, based on a request formulated by the interested party, issued by medical specialists in Sports Medicine, employees or affiliated with the National Health Service. as well as the prescription formulated according to the model contained in the text of the Decree (Annex 2) and the ISEE certification (Indicator of the Equivalent Economic Situation)..
The prescription of the devices is carried out by the specialist doctor responsible for the pathology, employed or affiliated with the National Health Service, according to the procedures organized by the Regions / Autonomous Provinces. The specialist doctor is required to carry out the testing, in accordance with current legislation.CopyAMP code
The definition of the times and methods for submitting applications by applicants for the benefit is delegated to the Regions and Autonomous Provinces, in compliance with the organization of the related Regional Health Services.
In order to fall within the spending limit, for the entire duration of the experimental phase, the provision of prosthetic components (indicated in point 1 of Annex 1) excludes, for the same person, the provision of an aid among those indicated in point 2 of the same Annex (i.e. the different wheelchairs, but also mono-skis, sleds, hand-bikes). The only exception is provided for in the case of bilateral limb amputation, a situation for which there may be the supply of more prosthetic components within the same supply.
The Decree also specifies that the entire prostheses and the aids provided are transferred to the client’s property, that no replacement is foreseen, and that any repairs, even of individual components subject to testing, are to be considered the responsibility of the user.
The types of prostheses expressly indicated include: the energy-restoring foot, the multifunctional single-center friction knee with hydraulic flexion-extension control and the tri-digital proportional control myoelectric hand without cosmetic glove.
These, on the other hand, are the available aids: the sports dance wheelchair, the tennis wheelchair, the sports wheelchair for target shooting, the fencing wheelchair, the monoski, the sled (code 30.09.36-L77), the handbike and the race wheelchair (wheelchair for athletics).