Historical Archive

The unresolved issue of the Balduzzi Decree

 Of Nerina Dirindin18.09.2012

Promoting the country's development through a higher level of health protection: this is the demanding objective of the decree of the Minister of Health. In fact, it takes the form of an extraordinary maintenance of the healthcare organization. For the first time, however, an attempt has been made to intervene on the behavior of people and healthcare professionals and not only on the functioning of services. Despite the good intentions, however, the conflict between the rationalization of healthcare expenditure and the impact on the world of production still needs to be addressed.

Decree 158/2012 (so-called Balduzzi decree) just published in the Official Gazette bears the title "Urgent provisions to promote the development of the country through a higher level of health protection". A binding affirmation, which seems to open the window towards new horizons, but which in fact takes the form of one Extraordinary maintenance, patchy, of the healthcare organization; and which appears at the same time innovative and insufficient: innovative because it attempts to intervene on the behavior of people and healthcare professionals (and not only on the functioning of services), insufficient because it (re)affirms principles and (re)announces measures already widely present in the legislation .


The decree intervenes on a plurality of topics, through a set of measures, each of which is destined to arouse enthusiasm or controversy. It is not a question of an organic reform (of which, moreover, the need is not felt) but of a pot pourri of interventions which, in the most disparate fields, try to help healthcare companies in the application of mostly already existing rules to which modifications are made that do not modify the general structure.
The stated goals they are more than one: to support the health system in times of great difficulty due to the continuous contraction of financial resources; address new (and old) health protection needs, some still neglected (chronicities) others emerging (gambling disorders); (re)affirm the need for corporate/regional choices independent of politics (when appointing general managers and chiefs); (re)commit the system to an update of the essential levels of assistance (commitment already made several times, but never respected); speed up the processes aimed at decongesting hospitals (as foreseen for decades, but now the crisis makes them urgent

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