Understaffing Is the Main Problem in Italian Health Care 

Expected that the Italian national health service will experience a dramatic shortage of doctors. The new map of the existing gaps in the staffing of public health facilities is expected to be available early in 2023, but the preliminary numbers are worrying. 

The problem stretches from the past but was definitely exacerbated by the pandemic. Doctors start to quit their jobs more often due to worsening working conditions, insufficient salaries, and burnout syndrome. However, the pandemic is not the only problem. It began with the so-called "educational bottleneck." Since 1987, the number of students allowed to enroll in a faculty of medicine was determined by the government. This number has increased, but the effect of the increase will appear in at least two years.  

An additional cause for concern is institutions of doctors who are paid by the hour. It is convenient for professionals, who benefit from a particularly advantageous fiscal regime that was introduced recently for self-employed workers. 

Early in December, Minister of Health Orazio Schillaci promised to find a decision on the problem, but he did not elaborate. That’s why we can only hope that he has a way out and that it will work.