Veneto Region, Italy Health system review

TitleVeneto Region, Italy Health system review
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsToniolo F, Bonin M, Aggio A, Bonesso P, Cella M, Mazzucco S, Nicola S, Nube G, Polato D, Salata R, Mantoan D, Cattarin A, Maresso A
Secondary AuthorsMossialos E, Busse R, Figueras J, McKee M, Saltman R
Series TitleHealth Systems in Transition
Volume14 (1)
Number of Pages138 p.
PublisherWHO Regional Office for Europe
City Copenhagen
KeywordsDelivery of health Care; Evaluation Studies; Financing, Health; Health care Reform; Health System Plans; Italy; Veneto Region
AbstractThe Health Systems in Transition (HiT) profiles are country-based reports that provide a detailed description of a health system and of policy initiatives in progress or under development. This HiT is one of the first to be written on a subnational level of government and focuses on the Veneto Region of northern Italy. HiTs examine different approaches to the organization, financing and delivery of health services and the role of the main actors in health systems; describe the institutional framework, process, content and implementation of health and health care policies; and highlight challenges and areas that require more in-depth analysis. The Veneto Region is one of Italy’s richest regions and the health of its resident population compares favourably with other regions in Italy. Life expectancy for both men and women, now at 79.1 and 85.2 years, respectively, is slightly higher than the national average, while mortality rates are comparable to national ones. The major causes of death are tumours and cardiovascular diseases. Under Italy’s National Health Service, the organization and provision of health care is a regional responsibility and regions must provide a nationally defined (with regional input) basic health benefit package to all of their citizens; extra services may be provided if budgets allow. Health care is mainly financed by earmarked central and regional taxes, with regions receiving their allocated share of resources from the National Health Fund. Historically, health budget deficits have been a major problem in most Italian regions, but since the early 2000s the introduction of efficiency measures and tighter procedures on financial management have contributed to a significant decrease in the Veneto Region’s health budget deficit. The health system is governed by the Veneto Region government (Giunta) via the Departments of Health and Social Services, which receive technical support from a single General Management Secretariat. Health care is provided by 21 local health and social care units, 2 hospital enterprises, 2 national hospitals for scientific research and private accredited providers. Major national health reform legislation in the 1990s started the process of regionalization of the health system and the introduction of managerial methods and quasi-market mechanisms into the National Health Service, a process that has been consolidated since the early 2000s under the framework of fiscal federalism. Future challenges for the Veneto Region include the sustainable provision of the basic health benefit package; the adaptation of services to meet changes in demand, particularly those associated with the ageing population and the incidence of chronic diseases; and the ever-present problem of keeping the regional health budget balanced.