Italians increasingly seek treatment outside the Region

In Italy there is one healthcare a series A and a series B and the Italians would have clearly understood this, implementing a record migration from south to north. The phenomenon of treatment outside the Region, in fact, has increased in recent years, with citizens of the South deciding more and more frequently to pack their bags and seek treatment for ailments, more or less serious, far from their native land, deciding to rely on the Northern healthcare.

And the report prepared by the Gimbe Foundation gives a clear picture of what has happened recently in the country, with the value of the escape having grown significantly.

What is healthcare migration

When referring to the health migration we are talking about the phenomenon that has increasingly involved our country in recent years. In Italy, in fact, hospitals, clinics or specialized centers are mostly concentrated in the north, which is why many people prefer to leave from the south for treatment.

And as happens with every migratory phenomenon, healthcare is no exception. There are those who welcome patients who arrive from far away, from other regions, and those who instead suffer loss, with a significant flow between south and north.

The Gimbe report on healthcare migration

According to what emerges from the Gimbe Foundation report, healthcare migration has grown by 27%. The data taken in reference are those of 2021, the year in which the flight for treatment from the south to the north reached a value of 4.25 billionprecisely 27 percentage points more than the 2020 data (3.3 billion), “the year in which the Covid-19 pandemic emergency led to a clear reduction in people’s movements and in the offer of hospital and hospital services outpatient”.

The regions that welcomed the most patients were Emilia-Romagna, Lombardy and Veneto with 93.3% of the active balance, i.e. the attraction of patients from other Regions. The deficit balance of 76.9%, i.e. the “migration” of patients from the Region of residence, is concentrated in Calabria, Campania, Sicily, Lazio, Puglia and Abruzzo.

The report also shows that over 1 euro out of 2 spent on hospitalizations and specialist services ends up in private coffersexactly 1,727.5 million euros (54.6%), compared to 1,433.4 million (45.4%) for public structures.

For ordinary and day hospital admissions, private structures collected 1,426.2 million, while public ones 1,132.8 million. For specialist outpatient services on the move, the value provided by the private sector is 301.3 million euros, the public one is 300.6 million.

Alongside regions where private healthcare provides over 60% of the total value of active mobility, such as Molise (90.5%), Puglia (73.1%), Lombardy (71.2%) and Lazio (64.1% ), there are Regions where private structures provide less than 20% of the total value of mobility such as Valle D’Aosta (19.1%), Umbria (17.6%), Sardinia (16.4%), Liguria (10 %), Autonomous Province of Bolzano (9.7%) and Basilicata (8.6%).

The reason for migration explained by Gimbe

But why is the flow so marked? Nino Cartabellotta, president of the Gimbe Foundation, tried to give an answer, to clarify the reasons for the healthcare migration phenomenon.

According to Cartabellotta, health mobility would be caused by “great inequalities in the provision of health services between the various Regions and, above all, between the North and the South of the country”. It would, in fact, be a gap “that has become a structural fracture destined to be aggravated by differentiated autonomy”. The president, in fact, underlined that differentiated autonomy in healthcare “will normatively legitimize the North-South divide, amplifying the unacceptable inequalities in the enforceability of the constitutional right to health protection”.