Italy

Italy

The latest research has described the maternity care in Italy as excessively medicalized and directive, disregarding national and international guidelines and showing strong territorial and social disparities. In their prenatal care, 82% of women are assisted by a gynecologist, 3% by a midwife and 15% by “family counseling centers” (consultori familiari). Only 30% (North) and 22% (South) of women search for public assistance during pregnancy while the rest ask for private health services1. The general perception of Italian women is that the public service is less good then private. While this may be quite true when we consider comfort, waiting time, latest technological equipment and politeness, the outcomes of private pregnancy healthcare by gynecologists and childbirth in private hospitals show much poorer results in exchange of much higher expenses. National Healthcare Service offers free pregnancy care and childbirth assistance to all citizens, including illegal immigrants

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