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The Italian hospital system


  • Maurizio Lozzi

    () (Banca d'Italia)


Over the last decade two reforms have affected the Italian hospital system, one introducing market mechanisms, the other concerning the tools of planning and expense control assigned to the regional governments. The paper summarizes these institutional changes and describes the evolution of the structure and the activity of the hospital system, with a focus on the differences between regions. It highlights the following: (1) the reduction in the number of hospitals and hospital beds and the gap between regions in terms of hospital beds per capita; (2) the growth in personnel compared with the number of hospital beds; (3) the stationarity of admissions since the end of the nineties and the growth in the share of those in day hospital; (4) the greater number of admissions in southern regions, especially for inappropriate or less complex treatment, and the high level of migration towards northern hospitals; (5) with reference to costs, increasing returns to scale up to a given hospital size, which is larger, the more complex the courses of treatment provided; (6) the differences between regions in costs which are affected by the size of facilities and their type of specialization.

Suggested Citation

  • Maurizio Lozzi, 2008. "The Italian hospital system," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 28, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  • Handle: RePEc:bdi:opques:qef_28_08

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Marianna Riggi & Fabrizio Venditti, 2014. "Surprise! Euro area inflation has fallen," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 237, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    2. Antonio Bassanetti & Matteo Bugamelli & Sandro Momigliano & Roberto Sabbatini & Francesco Zollino, 2014. "The policy response to macroeconomic and fiscal imbalances in Italy in the last fifteen years," PSL Quarterly Review, Economia civile, vol. 67(268), pages 55-103.
    3. Fabiani, Silvia & Gattulli, Angela & Sabbatini, Roberto, 2004. "The pricing behaviour of Italian firms: new survey evidence on price stickiness," Working Paper Series 333, European Central Bank.
    4. D'Amuri, Francesco & Giorgiantonio, Cristina, 2015. "The Institutional and Economic Limits to Bargaining Decentralization in Italy," IZA Policy Papers 98, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Andrea Brandolini & Piero Casadio & Piero Cipollone & Marco Magnani & Alfonso Rosolia, 2007. "Employment Growth in Italy in the 1990s: Institutional Arrangements and Market Forces," AIEL Series in Labour Economics,in: Nicola Acocella & Riccardo Leoni (ed.), Social Pacts, Employment and Growth. A Reappraisal of Ezio Tarantelli’s Thought, edition 1, chapter 4, pages 31-68 AIEL - Associazione Italiana Economisti del Lavoro.
    6. AfDB AfDB, . "AfDB Group Annual Report 2008," Annual Report, African Development Bank, number 64 edited by Koua Louis Kouakou.
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    More about this item


    hospitals; sanitary system; hospital performances; hospital costs;

    JEL classification:

    • H75 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Government: Health, Education, and Welfare
    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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