The Country Health Profiles are an important step in the European Commission’s two-year State of Health in the EU cycle and are the result of joint work between the OECD and the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies. The concise, policy relevant profiles are based on a transparent, consistent methodology, using both quantitative and qualitative data, yet flexibly adapted to the context of each EU Member State.
Italy is slowly emerging from a deep and lengthy recession, helped by a range of structural reforms – such as the Jobs Act – and accommodative monetary and fiscal policies, according to a new OECD report.
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Italy's indicators of health status and quality of care remain among the best in the EU. However, a growing proportion of the population reports unmet needs for medical care and dental care, particularly among low-income groups, which might increase health inequalities.
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Gli indicatori di stato di salute e qualità dell’assistenza in Italia rimangono fra i migliori in UE. La percentuale di popolazione che riporta esigenze di cure mediche e dentali non soddisfatte è in crescita, in particolare per i gruppi a basso reddito, con un conseguente potenziale aumento delle disuguaglianze nel settore sanitario.
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In Italy, there are two main categories of nurses requiring a university bachelor’s degree: Registered Nurses (RN) and Registered Paediatric Nurses (RPN). Once a Registered Nurse or a RPN, nurses can pursue further education in the form of a Master’s or Doctoral degree, which is more oriented towards an academic career.
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Entry to medical education in Italy follows the completion of high-school education and the grades obtained in a national exam, and it is subject to a numerus clausus (i.e., annual quota) set by the Ministry of Education, University and Research. It takes about six years for students to complete the first medical degree.
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Italy’s indicators of health system outcomes and quality are consistently good. This is despite levels of health spending below other high-income OECD countries. However, Italy is lagging behind in some areas, like long-term care and prevention of non-communicable diseases.
Specific country notes have been prepared using data from the database OECD Health Statistics 2015, July 2015 version. The notes are available in PDF format.
This report reviews the quality of health care in Italy, seeks to highlight best practices, and provides a series of targeted assessments and recommendations for further improvements to quality of care. Italy’s indicators of health system outcomes, quality and efficiency are uniformly impressive. Life expectancy is the fifth highest in the OECD. Avoidable admission rates are amongst the very best in the OECD, and case-fatality after stroke or heart attack are also well below OECD averages. These figures, however, mask profound regional differences. Five times as many children in Sicily are admitted to hospital with an asthma attack than in Tuscany, for example. Despite this, quality improvement and service redesign have taken a back-seat as the fiscal crisis has hit. Fiscal consolidation has become an over-riding priority, even as health needs rapidly evolve. Italy must urgently prioritise quality of its health care services alongside fiscal sustainability. Regional differences must be lessened, in part by giving central authorities a greater role in supporting regional monitoring of local performance. Proactive, coordinated care for people with complex needs must be delivered by a strengthened primary care sector. Fundamental to each of these steps will be ensuring that the knowledge and skills of the health care workforce are best matched to needs.
Italy has significantly improved the quality of health care in recent decades but needs to tackle the wide disparities that remain between regions, according to a new OECD report.