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Health care spending down, the expert warns of the risk of a decline in performance

 «In the face of health expenditure, significantly lower than the European average, does it make sense to save more? And how can this be done without negatively affecting the quality of performance? Is it realistic to think that we are more efficient than the Germans, who spend two percentage points higher than ours on health care?» Those with which are rhetorical questions and as many alarm bells Fabrizio Gianfrate, professor of Health and Pharmaceutical Economics at Luiss, comments on the data of the State General Accounting Office, which documents significant results in auditing accounts. In 2013, the current expenditure of the Italian health care decreased by 1%, settling at 109 billion, the 7% of the GDP; the decrease, which extends to all components, concerns in particular employees and pharmaceuticals and it is the Accounting Office itself that underlines the progress achieved, stating that "the health sector contributes positively to containing the dynamics of public spending". In particular, expenditure on personnel, which had increased on average by 2.4% per year between 2006 and 2010, then began to contract (-1.6%), reducing its incidence also within overall health expenditure (from 33.1% of 2010 up to 32.2% of 2013). The ways in which this happened are well known: the persistent blockage of the turnover of personnel working in the Regions in the recovery plan, the stop to the renewal of contracts and salary increases. Gianfrate, noting that public health expenditure is already significantly lower than in the European countries of reference (France, Germany, Great Britain and Spain), points out the persistence of "pockets of inefficiency from which much effectiveness could be recovered: in short, we spend little and we also spend badly». However, the consequence of the continuous containment of available resources is almost automatic and has often been reported in the last period: «as public presence and spending decreases, private spending increases».

Renato Torlaschi

Tuesday, June 24, 2014 Doctor33


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