Giovanna Vicarelli Elena Spina

Inequalities and national health service: An irresolvable contradiction?

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This article focuses on the current health situation in Italy, where the existence of a National Health Service (SSN), for over forty years, should have ensured equal treatment for citizens, as well as similar levels of health. To address more closely the relationship between the SSN and health inequalities, this article focuses on territorial equity in health care, taking the point of view of distributive justice and, in particular, of the three criteria constituted by the equality of resources, the equality of access to services/performances and the equality of results. The aim of this article is to assess whether or not the dichotomies in terms of health, widely documented in the literature, correspond to dichotomies in the performance of regional health services (SSR). On the basis of this type of regulatory/ institutional recognition, in the conclusions of this paper, some possible suggestions are proposed in order to increase the level of equity in health that are currently reached in the different territorial areas of the SSN.


  • National health service
  • territorial equity
  • inequalities
  • resources
  • access to services
  • results


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