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G Ital Cardiol (Rome). 2015 May;16(5):304-10. doi: 10.1714/1870.20434.

[The heart of Italians. A population survey on the perception and evaluation of the National Health Service by citizens with heart disease and without heart disease (with special reference to cardiology)].

[Article in Italian]



The purpose of this study was to collect information to understand how citizens perceive the National Health System (NHS), and what is the degree of confidence they have in the NHS.


We carried out an opinion poll with the Demos & Pi group on the perception of the NHS by Italian citizens, with particular reference to the activities related to cardiology, by interviewing 2311 people with a set of 33 questions, about the perception of their health status, lifestyles, the propensity to use public or private services, consideration of the level of the NHS, and the trust in the medical profession. The subjects included were also preliminarily stratified according to the presence or absence of heart disease.


Overall, Italian citizens express a high level of satisfaction for the NHS (on average, 65% of approval rating), including the whole professional staff, hoping that the NHS will be kept appropriately funded. The result is even better in the subset of interviewed citizens, who suffered from cardiovascular disease. People also consider the NHS an essential requirement to ensure equity in access to medical treatment and to keep costs competitive, even compared to private healthcare. The NHS major weakness remains the waiting lists, which are considered too long for diagnostic procedures and ordinary interventions.


There is a widespread positive feeling among Italian citizens concerning the role and functioning of the NHS. Such opinion, shared by the whole country, should be taken into account when the time will come to define strategies for health policy of the Italian society in the near future.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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