Venerdì, 19 Ottobre 2018

Lou Gehrig patients in Italy start hunger strike protest


Rome, November 14 - About 100 seriously disabled
people, including many afflicted by amyotrophic lateral
sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig's disease, began a hunger strike
Wednesday to protest what they claim is insufficient government
financial assistance for patients with various needs.
The hunger strikers will start cutting back their food
intake by 50% starting today, according to Mariangela Lamanna,
vice president of the November 16 Committee (Comitato 16
Novembre), an organization which represents Lou Gehrig patients.
Following a recent amendment to budget laws, the government
has earmarked some 200 million euros for the ill and disabled.
However, the head of the November 16 Committee, Salvatore
Usala, himself a ALS patient, has criticized such funding as
insufficient and has threatened to carry out a sit-in on
November 21 in front of Italy's economy ministry, along with
other patients.
''The 200 million euros offered by the government, once
shared out among the 25,000 disabled and seriously disabled
Italians would mean each sick Italian would get a monthly check
of 600 euros to help cover home-care expenses compared with a
monthly bill of 3,000 euros,'' Lamanna said.
The November 16 Committee, together with a series of other
organizations representing various disabilities, asked for the
government to earmark at least 400 million euros.

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