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Health decentralization at a dead-end: towards new recovery plans for Italian hospitals

Mauro, Marianna, Maresso, Anna and Guglielmo, Annamaria (2017) Health decentralization at a dead-end: towards new recovery plans for Italian hospitals. Health Policy, 121 (6). pp. 582-587. ISSN 0168-8510

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.healthpol.2017.04.003


The recent introduction by the central government of recovery plans (RPs) for Italian hospitals provides useful insights into the recentralization tendencies that are being experienced within the country’s decentralized, regional health system. The measure also contributes evidence to the debate on whether there is a long-term structural shift in national health strategy towards more centralized stewardship. The hospital RPs aim to improve the clinical, financial and managerial performance of public-hospitals, teaching-hospitals and research-hospitals through monitoring trends in individual hospitals' expenditure and tackling improvements in clinical care. As such they represent the central governments recognition of the weaknesses of the decentralization process in the health sector. The opponents of the reform argue that financial stability will be restored mainly through across-the-board reductions in hospital expenditure, personnel layoffs and closing of wards, with considerable negative effects on the most vulnerable groups of patients. While hospital RPs are comprehensive and complex, unresolved issues remain as to whether hospitals have the necessary managerial skills for the development of effective and achievable plans. Without also devising an overall plan to tackle the long-standing managerial weaknesses of public hospitals, the objectives of the hospital RPs will be undermined and the decentralization process in the health system will gradually reach a dead-end.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2017 The Authors, © CC BY-NC-ND
Divisions: LSE Health
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Date Deposited: 21 Apr 2017 11:38
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 02:31

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