Informations and abstract
Keywords: Italy; National Health Service; Health Expenditure; Health Services; Italian Regional Health Services.
the aim of the article is to place the Italian national health service in a comparative perspective, with particular reference to Southern European countries, on the one hand, and the UK, France and Germany, on the other. The analysis is based on statistical data compiled by OECD, WHO, and Eurostat, and focuses on the following: a) health expenditure; b) hospital, pharmaceutical and territorial care; c) health outcomes. Special attention is paid to territorial differences, which are of paramount importance in the Italian case. The evidence provided suggests a comparatively good performance by the Italian NHS, especially concerning the quality of hospital care. However, the data also document a clear North/South divide in the level and quality of healthcare as well as the residual role of territorial social and healthcare services, particularly for the frail elderly and long-term care.