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European hospital healthcare update: Member State profiles

Maria Paola Di Martino
Director-General for EU and International Relations
Ministry of Health

The most ambitious goal within the political programme of the Italian Ministry of Health is the realisation of a social-sanitary integration within the framework of primary care at a national level, through “the House of Health”.

The House of Health is being established to provide one central service provided by general practitioners, paediatricians, outpatient specialists, emergency medical services and general services to offer drug addiction services, mental health services, domiciliary care, health prevention services, disabilities and advisory centres.

The House of Health will be a polyvalent structure, providing citizens with an alternative to hospital care for all the sanitary and social provisions that require a stay in hospital or highly specialised assistance.

In particular, it should guarantee continuity throughout primary and secondary care.

The House of Health will be organised in areas, each targeted to give citizens an immediate answer for their social-sanitary needs, putting together in one place the whole extra hospital offer of the National Health System.

The focus of this project is the general practitioner, who will play a critical role in promoting continuity and providing citizens with an adequate landscape for growth, care and rehabilitation.