On the 16th of January in one of the Senate’s seats, the Italian Association of private hospitals presented the yearly Report on Health and Hospitals to politicians and to journalists.
The research (promoted by AIOP and elaborated by Ermeneia, an important research center) analyses the Italian healthcare system from the double point of view of consumers, relating to the access to services and to quality of treatments, and of providers, concerning their answers to the health needs of the population thanks to efficient management and productivity with the available resources.
One of the main results of the Report is that about 20 millions of Italian citizens (38% of the population) experienced the difficulty of waiting lists for the access to specialist examinations or hospitalizations, the first cause for waiving the right to treatments. This inefficiency of the Healthcare system contributes to increase the out of pocket expenses and the interregional mobility for 30% of the patients and it is one of the causes of the inappropriate access to first aid services.
In this context, as the radical structural changes require more time and political consensus, it is obvious that the Italian system urgently needs to become more efficient in its daily functioning. This is possible if both sectors that make up the system, accredited public and private hospitals, have the same responsibilities, controls and remuneration criteria, in the interest of the population. In this respect 90% of people are convinced that private accredited hospitals are an essential component of the system like the public ones and that their choice is not depending on the juridical nature of the institution but on the quality of services provided.
In order to promote this required efficiency, the national Association of private hospitals suggests:
- to go back to the payment by DRG’s also for the public sector, as provided for by law but never enforced, in order to balance costs and operating revenues also in public hospitals
- to introduce incentives and disincentives depending on the functioning of the health institutions
- to promote a virtuous competition among public and private providers within the same process of accreditation
- to create a third and independent control institution to overcome the conflict of interests for the public sector, which is at the same time controller and controlled.
Barbara Cittadini, President of AIOP
Concluding the meeting Barbara Cittadini, President of AIOP, declared:
“In order to defend the solidarity principle of the universal access to services, it is absolutely necessary to reorganize and to make our National Healthcare Service more efficient from a double point of view: the same quality treatments provided in all Regions and the economic and financial efficiency. The situation described in the Report “Health and Hospitals 2018” must induce us to recover the fundaments and the principles inspiring the foundation of our Healthcare National Service forty years ago. We must update them taking into consideration the changes of the health and demographic and economic situation in order to respond to the real needs of the population looking for an adequate answer to their health expectancy.”
Written by Alberta Sciachi, AIOP International Relations