Italian doctors welcome plans for 24 hour opening

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: (Published 31 August 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e5871
  1. Michael Day
  1. 1Milan

Plans to introduce general practitioner clinics that are open 24 hours a day form the centrepiece of a major health bill that the technocrat government of Mario Monti hopes will overhaul Italy’s massively bureaucratic health system.

Expanding the scope and availability of primary care will, ministers hope, ease the burden on desperately overworked accident and emergency departments, which are the first port of call for many sick Italians.

The Italian Federation of General Practitioners has welcomed the plans. “We think this reform is the most important there’s been since 1980,” said Giacomo Milillo, the group’s secretary.

Health minister Renato Balduzzi wants the expanded GP centres to offer facilities that allow specialist doctors and nurses …

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