Public Policy Dynamics Italy #2

by RPP colleagues

Health and Politics in Italy

Total COVID-19 cases:2,515,500
14-day total COVID-19 cases per 100,000:315.31
14-day change:+63.74
Total COVID-19 deaths:85,461
14-day rise:4,613
  • Italy has officially announced a new government crisis. On 26 January First Minister Giuseppe Conte officially resigned, and President Mattarella must now decide how to proceed. During this week, he will proceed with the “consultations”. Many scenarios are possible, and the once probable eventuality of a “Conte third mandate” seems to be fading.
  • Based on the CREA Sanità Health Report, pre-pandemic health spending revealed a gap between Western European countries, with Italy having spent around 35.1% less as a share of public funding. The share of public funding of healthcare spending had been steadily shrinking, to the point of being lower than that of Eastern European countries.
  • On 28 January, the Ministry of Health published the Decree that adopts and updates the Covid-19 vaccine plan, with the forecast of vaccine supplies planned for each quarter of 2021 and 2022 updated. The forecast deliveries of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have notably been revised upwards. The first 100 million doses needed to immunise all 51 million Italians over 16 could be available by the fourth quarter of this year.

Politics

  • Italy has officially announced a new government crisis. On 26 January, First Minister Giuseppe Conte officially resigned, and the President Mattarella must now decide how to proceed. Mattarella has already started the "consultations" with all the main leaders and parties to understand the general status of and conditions on government participation posed by each party to decide the next steps. Many scenarios are possible including:
    • A new government led by Conte (Conte-third). This could include finding an agreement with Matteo Renzi or trying to replace Italy Alive seats with independents and members of small parties (low-profile group of MPs dubbed “the Responsible Ones”).
    • A new government with similar majority but a different prime minister.
    • A technical government (or a government of national unity), meaning a government led by a non-partisan figure who could guide the country through the pandemic and economic crisis until elections can be held. Names media outlets are suggesting include Mario Draghi or Marta Cartabia, the former head of the constitutional court.
  • It must be noted that the reduction of Parliamentary seats will be applied starting from the next elections, while a revision of the electoral law is foreseen before new elections to better implement these changes. If none of the above options succeed, the solution will be early elections.

 

Health

  • On 27 January, the CREA (Consortium for Applied Economic Research in Health) presented its 16th Health Report. The report is a strategic document that for more than a decade has contributed to shaping policy choices in the field of health and this year predictably focused on the state of the Italian health system in the wake of the Covid-19 emergency. The CREA scientific committee recommends for Italy not to “waste” all the advances made during the pandemic such as the expansion of critical care capacity.
  • New data on pre-pandemic health spending has revealed the breadth of the gap between Italy and other Western European countries. Italy has been confirmed to spend 35.1% less, a percentage that rises to 40.2% when considering public spending alone. The healthcare share of public funding has shrunk, to the point of being lower than that of Eastern European countries (74.1% in Italy; 74.5% in the post-1995 EU countries; 80.5% in all EU countries).

 

COVID-19

  • On 28 January, the Ministry of Health published a Decree that adopts and updates the Covid-19 vaccine plan. The measure, referred to in paragraph 457 of the Budget Law, merely adopts the plan presented on 12 December, but updates the table with the updated forecast of vaccine supplies for the various quarters of 2021 and 2022. The forecast deliveries of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have notably been revised upwards. However, Pfizer's additional purchases announced on 8 January are still missing.
  • Italy has forecast the roll out of a total of around 226 million doses of the various Covid-19 vaccines between now and the second quarter of 2022, representing an increase of 23.59 million doses compared to the December 2020 forecast. The first 100 million doses needed to immunise all 51 million Italians over 16 for whom vaccination is medically feasible could be available by the fourth quarter of this year.

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