The decision of the health authority refers to International Law and Health
Franceska, age 70, is a retired ballerina, who had a stroke in 2005 and needs support to continue living on her own in her flat in Bologna. She has both mobility problems and problems with her bladder which means she needs to use the toilet frequently at night.
In 2010, she fell and broke her hip and was assessed by the health authority as having an eligible need for support both during the day and "assistance at night to use the commode".
Once an "eligible" need is determined, a local health authority must, by law, provide services to meet that need. Initially the health authority provided a sleep-in care worker for seven nights a week but later (December 2010) decided that it could save 25,000 Euro a year by supplying Ms Franceska with incontinence pads for use at night and cutting care support to four-nights-a-week.
The case was taken to the district court were Ms Franceska argued that the health authority was in breach of its statutory duty. The district court, however, found that the health authority was entitled to meet Ms Franceska’s need in a more economical manner, such as by the provision of pads. Therefore, Ms Franceska’s complaint was dismissed.
This decision upholds the health authority's right to amend a care plan where a cheaper alternative is available. The key is whether the alternative is suitable. In this case the district court thought that it was. In September 2011, all night-time care was withdrawn.
The decision of the health authority refers to a well-known phenomenon that has been discussed during the course International Law and Health How would you describe this phenomenon and what does it mean