Italy is the sixth largest country in Europe and has the second highest
average life expectancy, reaching 79.4 years for men and 84.5 years for
women in 2011. There are marked regional differences for both men and
women in most health indicators, reflecting the economic and social imbalance
between the north and south of the country. The main diseases affecting the
population are circulatory diseases, malignant tumours and respiratory diseases.
Italy’s health-care system is a regionally based national health service that
provides universal coverage largely free of charge at the point of delivery.
The main source of financing is national and regional taxes, supplemented
by co-payments for pharmaceuticals and outpatient care. In 2012, total health
expenditure accounted for 9.2% of GDP (slightly below the EU average of 9.6%).
Public sources made up 78.2% of total health-care spending. While the central
government provides a stewardship role, setting the fundamental principles and
goals of the health system and determining the core benefit package of health
services available to all citizens, the regions are responsible for organizing
and delivering primary, secondary and tertiary health-care services as well as
preventive and health promotion services.
Faced with the current economic constraints of having to contain or even
reduce health expenditure, the largest challenge facing the health system is to
achieve budgetary goals without reducing the provision of health services to
patients. This is related to the other key challenge of ensuring equity across
regions, where gaps in service provision and health system performance persist.
Other issues include ensuring the quality of professionals managing facilities,
promoting group practice and other integrated care organizational models in
primary care, and ensuring that the concentration of organizational control by
regions of health-care providers does not stifle innovation.
|Publisher||World Health Organization|
|Number of pages||168|
|Publication status||Published - 2014|
|Name||HEALTH SYSTEMS IN TRANSITION|
- DELIVERY OF HEALTH CARE EVALUATION STUDIES FINANCING,
- HEALTH HEALTH CARE REFORM HEALTH SYSTEM PLANS