Economic Crisis and Health Inequalities in Italy

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 10:30 AM
Room: F206
Oral Presentation
Simona OLIVADOTI , Nat Agency Regional Health Service, Rome, Italy
Mara TOGNETTI , Department of Sociology and Social Research, University of Milan-Bicocca., Milan, Italy

In recent years Italy has been hit by a severe crisis, not only economically, with worrying repercussions on the health of its citizens. In fact, the current economic situation threatens to undermine all dimensions of well-being of a population. The situation is still ongoing, the timing and outcome is impossible to predict, but that poses huge questions for those who deal with health and health planning.

A preliminary analysis of the international literature (Anderson, 2012; Binkin et al., 2010; Cylus et al., 2012; Artazcoz et al., 2004) and data made it possible to substantiate the effects of unemployment and increasing poverty on health inequalities.

In this paper we will try to verify the consequences of the economic crisis on health in Italy, what is the state of health inequalities and what are the risk factors for proximal (material, psychosocial, occupational, environmental and behavioral), most affected by the economic situation.

Using data by “Health for All Italy” will rebuild the health status of the Italian population in the last 10 years to demonstrate the changes and estimate the consequences of the current crisis, and increase social inequalities.

In time of crisis it is even more necessary to ensure access to health services, especially to the weaker member of society, since the health needs may grow rapidly. Moreover, given the particular situation and conformation of Italy will place the focus on geographical differences between the north and south of the country.

The first results show that, indeed, in recent years are increasing cases of suicide and depression, and all diseases related to the area of mental health (Costa et al., 2012). Health outcomes that are affected by an economic crisis ranging from subjective health, physical health, mental health and may vary in relation to socioeconomic status and place of residence.