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ISSN: 1734-3402
Family Medicine & Primary Care Review
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vol. 18
Review paper

Italian Primary Care System: an overview

Ferdinando Petrazzuoli

Department of Clinical Sciences in Malmö, Centre for Primary Health Care Research, Lund University, Malmö, Sweden
Family Medicine & Primary Care Review 2016; 18, 2: 163–167
Online publish date: 2016/06/27
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Italian Primary Care System has been modelled after the NHS in UK and was established in 1978. In 2000 Italy’s healthcare system was regarded, by a World Health Organization’s ranking, as the 2nd best in the world after France; since then, the performance has constantly decreased mainly because of the austerity policy. This austerity policy is not justified by the Official OECD figures which show that Italian Health Care expenditures are below the average in OECD Countries. Quality outcomes almost always show a clear North-South divide in almost all health care sectors. Responsibility for health care is now shared between the central government and 19 regions and 2 autonomous provinces (Trento and Bolzano), which traditionally differ a lot in terms of economic development, per capita income, demography and culture. Disparities can be found in almost any area of health care provision, in health policy making, health care expenditure, quality of health care, public satisfaction and health care services organization. The pros of the Italian Primary Care System are the continuity of care and the universalism; the cons are the crippling bureaucracy, the workload, the lack of basic social benefits for GPs such as subsidized sick leaves and the lack of University Department of Primary Care and finally the absence of any perspective of professional development in the Academic field.

primary health care, general practice, continuity of care, health care costs

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