Italian Minister of Health, Beatrice Lorenzin formally opened the conference and described the aspirations of Italy and the opportunity for Italy to lead Europe on the important debate of ‘healthcare for the future’ with the soon approaching Italian Presidency for Europe. The national conference was fortunate to receive Matteo Renzi, Italy’s Prime Minister who delivered a speech on the importance of healthcare across Italy and Europe as well important thoughts from Vasco Errani, Conference of Presidents of Italian Regions and with the participation of Giorgio Napolitano, the President of the Italian Republic.
On the afternoon of first day Matt Edwards, WP6 Leader / Head of Horizon Scanning and International at the CfWI, joined a panel chaired by Minister of Health, Beatrice Lorenzin to discuss ‘Medical Care 20 years from now: investing in healthcare professions in response to an evolving health care system’. The discussion moderated by Walter Mazzucco, National President of Italian Junior Doctors Association (SIGM) first heard from keynote speaker Alberto Brugnoli, Director General of the Regional Institute for Research, Statistics and Training, Eupolis Lombardy Region on the challenges of making strategic decisions today that will affect the future of healthcare in Italy and how the needs for healthcare are changing in Italy and Europe.
As part of the discussion the audience heard from Matt Edwards about the EU Joint Action on Health Workforce Planning and Forecasting which was highlighted as an opportunity to share learning and expertise across Europe when thinking about the future of the workforce and healthcare needs of citizens. In addition, Matt Edwards made the case for thinking longer term and planning for the future systematically with acknowledgement of the important work being carried out by Italy and WP5 Leader Giovanni Leonardi. Factors such as the ageing population and workforce, technology levels and regulation, mobility of the workforce, the economy, integration of services, changes to skills (specialist and generalist), medicine and pharmaceutical innovation and public health challenges were described by the panel as part of the discussion. The panel consisting of esteemed representatives included:
The conference served as a forum for Italian health institutions, bodies, enterprises and operators of both public and private sectors to address major public health related issues, in order to highlight the points of excellence as well as the sensitivities of the Italian National Health System and to illustrate Italy’s international policy in this field in view of its upcoming EU Presidency.
Another goal of the Conference was to launch a discussion on the most appropriate strategies to be adopted in the foreseeable future to prop up the presently applied principles of equity and universality of the Italian National Health System, strategies which would contribute to develop a uniform nationwide quality of care.