Round Tables. A discussion with NHS stakeholders.

Bologna / Bari, November 2016
2016 Report "Health changes in Italy: the effects on the silver generation"

The combination of public debt, unemployment, globalisation, ageing populations and rising house prices over the past 20 years has reduced the purchasing power and income levels as well as the prospects of millions of young people across the developed world, with unprecedented consequences in attaining equality between generations. For the first time in the history of industrialised countries, with the exception of wartime periods, young adults' incomes have declined compared to the rest of society. In Italy, families under 35 have become poorer than those of pensioners under 80. If one then accepts the hypothesis that morbidity rate and life expectancy are indicators influenced by factors such as employment, income and access to healthcare, it is clear that in dynamic terms the health state of this cohort of young individuals will have important repercussions on the future health condition of the entire population and on healthcare expenditure as a whole.

The organisation and management of these phenomena will be the real challenge of social and healthcare policies in Italy. The analyses carried out show the system's tendency to be unable to take care of the health needs expressed by the current silver generation in a complete and appropriate manner. This sign must be read and interpreted from a certain perspective, since in the future the younger generations could have a worse state of health as they prepare to form part of the silver generation.

Furthermore, individual Regional Health Systems are extremely heterogeneous, with the presence of multiple organisational models and operational solutions to respond to the health needs of the silver generation on the one hand, and how the different regional systems have not been and are not currently comparable in terms of quantity and quality of care for the elderly population on the other hand.