According to a report from the Italian Ministry of Health, in 2016 Lombardy and Emilia Romagna were the top Italian regions for incoming patients from other Italian areas.
Considering the number of Hospital discharges, in 2016 around 1 million patients in Italy moved from their own region to be cured and assisted in a different Region, for a total amount of 4,3 billion euros of health expenditure.
Calabria is the region with the highest number of outgoing patients (around 20,5%), while Emilia Romagna is the one that attracted more patients: 9% of treated patients comes from a different Italian Region.
So Medical Tourism in Italy seems to be also a domestic affair, but it is true, indeed, that many Italian hospitals can offer state-of-the-art technologies and treatments and this is why they attract patients also within the country. Destination Health network is actually working with some of the Italian medical excellences to develop their business attracting international patients, too.
The mobility within Italy can be considered physiological when it happens among bordering regions (for example from Lombardy to Emilia Romagna), but more often there is a mobility towards regions very far from the one of residence. The highest number of patients comes from the South of Italy and the Islands (Sicily of Sardinia) moving to Northern and Central Regions such as Tuscany, where 7,5% of treated patients come from another region and Lombardy, with 7,2% of incoming patients. Among the regions with the highest negative balance there are the abovementioned Calabria (-20,5%), Basilicata (-6,8%), Abruzzo (-6,4) and Sicilia (-6,3).
It is important to notice, anyway, that there is a difference in this give-and-take balance if it is considered from the economic side, which is often linked to the complexity and the specialization of the hospitalization.
From this point of view the rankings change, with Lombardy that tops the list with a positive balance of 657 million euros. But it is interesting to detect that in this chart the weight of the complexity of hospitalizations clearly emerges. One example out of many is Molise. This region has a negative balance considering the number of hospital discharges but from the economic side it has a positive balance of 22,6 million euros. This is thanks to Neuromed, a highly-specialized Neurological Institute that is well known throughout Italy for neurosurgery, neurology, neuroradiology and all other applications related to neuroscience.
This is a typical example of an Italian medical excellence that might attract also foreign patients in the country. Destination Health in order to promote Italian medical excellences abroad has created a cluster, called ItalyCares, that gathers some of the leading Italian Hospitals such as Gruppo Ospedaliero San Donato, Gruppo Cidimu, Gruppo INI, IEO (European Institute of Oncology) and Fondazione Mondino.
The first international mission of this cluster will be in Abu Dhabi and Dubai to meet local Health Ministries on November 27th and 28th.