The Child Health Care System in Italy

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Abstract

Pediatric care in Italy has been based during the last 40 years on the increased awareness of the importance of meeting the psychosocial and developmental needs of children and of the role of families in promoting the health and well-being of their children. The pediatric health care system in Italy is part of the national health system. It is made up of 3 main levels of intervention: first access/primary care, secondary care/hospital care, and tertiary care based on specialty hospital care. This overview will also include a brief report on neonatal care, pediatric preventive health care, health service accreditation programs, and postgraduate training in pediatrics. The quality of the Italian child health care system is now considered to be in serious danger because of the restriction of investments in public health caused both by the 2008 global and national economic crisis and by a reduction of the pediatric workforce as a result of progressively insufficient replacement of specialists in pediatrics.

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