Medical Graduates Per 100,000 Population (2017): 13.3
Nursing Graduates Per 100,000 Population (2017): 20.0
Percent Share of Foreign-Trained Doctors (2017): 0.8%
Percent Share of Foreign-Trained Nurses (2017): 5.0%
(Note: According to OECD, “Medical graduates are defined as students who have graduated from medical schools in a given year.” OECD also notes that data for Austria “include foreign graduates, but other countries may exclude them.”)
Source: OECD (2019), Health at a Glance 2019: OECD Indicators, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/4dd50c09-en.
“Although the number of doctors per capita in Italy is still higher than the EU average (see Section 4), the age composition of currently practising doctors raises concerns about the ability of the health system to respond to the health needs of the population in the future. In 2017, more than half of Italy’s practising doctors were aged 55 years and over, the highest share in the EU (Figure 17).
“Concerns about the future availability of medical personnel are heightened by bottlenecks in the training and recruitment of new doctors needed to replace the large number of doctors who are soon to retire. These bottlenecks also result in large migration outflows of new medical graduates and young doctors starting their careers.
“Between 2010 and 2016, the number of medical graduates from Italian medical schools increased from about 6,700 to over 8,000. However, many of these new graduates were not able to find an internship and specialty training place to complete their training because the number of places is capped at a level significantly below the number of graduates, so many decided to go abroad to complete their specialty training. In addition, a number of newly trained doctors in Italy also moved abroad to take advantage of better job opportunities, as entry-level salaries of doctors in Italy are very low (between EUR 2,000 and EUR 2,500 per month, even for general surgeons). As a result, between 2010 and 2018, over 8,800 new medical graduates or fully trained doctors emigrated to find internships or regular positions elsewhere in Europe. This was only marginally offset by an inflow of 1,100 foreign-trained doctors during that period.
“The limited supply of new doctors is straining the capacities of some local health units and hospital trusts to fill job vacancies, resulting in growing shortages. To improve the attractiveness of employment contracts, a decree was adopted in 2019, providing more flexibility to regions to offer permanent contracts to replace doctors who are retiring.”
Source: OECD/European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies (2019), Italy: Country Health Profile 2019, State of Health in the EU, OECD Publishing, Paris/European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, Brussels.
Health Systems Facts is a project of the Real Reporting Foundation. We provide reliable statistics and other data from authoritative sources regarding health systems in the US and several other nations.
Page last updated April 20, 2021 by Doug McVay, Editor.