Health care, Region of Sicily, and ISMETT together for another ten years

Another ten years together, and the chance to extend the contract for another 9 years if the established goals are achieved

Today, at Palazzo Orléans (Palermo), the Region of Sicily and ISMETT (Istituto Mediterraneo per i Trapianti e Terapie ad alta specializzazione), in Palermo, signed the renewal of the Framework Agreement, which, for the first time, will last longer than three years: January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2028, with an investment of €100 million per year, for the next 10 years. The number of beds will increase by almost 50% (from 78 to 114), and at least 3% of the budget will be allocated to training courses for staff from other Sicilian clinical facilities.

The Framework Agreement was signed by Nello Musumeci, Governor of the Region of Sicily, Ruggero Razza, Regional Health Care Commissioner, Prof. Bruno Gridelli, President of UPMC Italy and representative of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Roberto Colletti, Special Commissioner of Civico Hospital in Palermo, Camillo Ricordi, ISMETT President, and Alessandro Padova, Ri.MED Foundation Director General.

“This agreement bonds us with the United States of America in an alliance of friendship, but it is also a sign of trust, well deserved though unusual for the Public Administration, considering the duration of the contract,” said Governor Musumeci. “Trust is especially expressed by Sicilian citizens who, over so many years, have known and appreciated a clinical facility that demonstrates high levels of performance and serves as a model for Sicilian health care.  Health care is a complex field, posing many challenges, which we try to face with the best focus and quality to the benefit of our patients, also thanks to the help provided by Sicilian Regional Health Care Commissioner, Mr. Razza. The measure of our success will be Sicilian patients’ choice to opt for a treatment in their region instead of having to take a plane and get treatments elsewhere,” he said.

The idea was also stressed by Prof. Gridelli, who recalled the first transplant at ISMETT 20 years ago, highlighting the fact that the increase in the number of patients coming from other regions, a program also funded with approximately €2 million, falls within ISMETT’s goals. Within this framework, patients’ mobility will also be supported by new agreements signed with countries from the southern Mediterranean basin.

“The new agreement is ultimately of historic significance, and will give our center extraordinary strength, attesting a future level of excellence, also thanks to the international high-level collaboration network provided by the University of Pittsburgh,” he said.

Founded in June 1997 by the Region of Sicily and UPMC, ISMETT was included in the regional health system in 2012, and only two years later was acknowledged as an Institute for Scientific-based Hospitalization and Treatment (IRCCS) for the treatment and research of end-stage vital organ failure by the Italian Ministry of Health. In June, the Ri.MED Foundation entered ISMETT’s governance.

The agreement provides for an annual funding of €100 million by the Sicilian Region, and aims at increasing the number of beds from 78 to 114, and building a new hospital next to Ri.MED’s research center in Carini, within an area of 35,000 square meters. The new hospital, “ISMETT 2”, will have 250 beds, distributed in different units for different levels of care. The ISMETT-Ri.MED cluster will become a pole of excellence in southern Italy, and will also collaborate with the Human Technopole project in Milan. ISMETT will also provide training courses, in collaboration with Sicilian universities, to health care professionals working in Sicily in various fields, such as biomedical research, biotechnologies, and hospital management.