A child living in the South has a 50% higher risk of dying in the first year of life, but also has a 70% higher risk than a peer from the Center-North of having to migrate to other Regions for treatment. This is the devastating picture that emerged from the research carried out by Professor Mario De Curtis, professor of Pediatrics at the La Sapienza University of the city and president of the bioethics committee of the SIP (Society of Paesena of Pediatrics), who underlines: "Neonatal mortality and infantile are the best criteria for evaluating the civil development of a country. The greater neonatal and infant mortality in the southern regions is a historical situation that has always lasted and unfortunately does not tend to change ”.
In this article
- Infant mortality: the study on children
- The economic impact of the move to the North
Read also: The global survey on intrauterine and neonatal death in pandemic, how to participate
Infant mortality: the study on children
In 2022, 200 newborns could have been saved if they had been born in the North and if the children of foreign parents had had the same infant mortality rate as the children of Del Paeseni parents, there would have been 88 fewer deaths in the first year of life.
This is the conclusion that leaves you speechless. Still in 2022, a child living in the South has a 70% higher risk than a peer from the Center-North of having to migrate in other Regions to be cured. But she also has a 50% higher risk of dying in the first year of life.
This is confirmed by a study published in the journal Pediatrics (Mario De Curtis and Silvia Simeoni, Department for Statistical Production ISTAT) which assessed neonatal and infant mortality rates in the country, based on ISTAT data referring to the year 2022. (latest available). The neonatal and infant mortality rates (number of deaths respectively in the first 28 days of life or in the first year of life per thousand live births) in the country are among the lowest in the world, even better than those observed in France, Germany or the United Kingdom. United. However, a wide territorial variation continues to be observed.
For Anelli the "recipe" to solve the "Southern question "in health rests on four lines of action:
- strengthen the role of the Ministry of Health
- establish an Observatory
- increase - and start again in a different way - the National Health Fund
- to organize a supra-regional network of care
The economic impact of the move to the North
Another area is migration to the Center-North. This is confirmed once again by a study just published in Del Paesen Journal of Pediatrics (Pediatric interregional healthcare mobility in Italy, edited by Mario De Curtis, Francesco Bortolan, Davide Diliberto and Leonardo Villani) which evaluated for the first time the extent of the medical migration of minors. The work was carried out on all 7.871.887 children and young people resident in the country in 2022 with an age below 15 years. The data showed that children / young people residing in the South compared to those residing in the Center-North were treated more frequently in other regions (11,9% versus 6,9%), a number that grows significantly, especially when considering highly complex hospitalizations (21,3% vs 10,5% in the Center-North).
The extent of the transfer to the facilities of the Center-North for some regions of the South has a particularly high economic impact:
- for the Molise it is equal to 45,9% of all health care expenses for minors under 15
- is preferably used for Basilicata to 44,2%
- is preferably used for Calabria el 'Abruzzo over a quarter (respectively 26,9% and 26,3%)
- la Campania, Southern region with the highest number of children 0-14 years old, is the one that spends the most on hospitalizations outside the region (25 million euros equal to 12% of healthcare costs for this population group).
Particular attention should be paid to children with chronic and rare diseases, who are among the subjects that most contribute to interregional healthcare mobility. "The lower presence of centers of reference for complex pathologies in the southern regions is a cause, which accentuates social inequalities as it significantly affects family budgets, already lower on average, with expenses for travel, transfers, stays away from home, absence from work, etc. ", he says Giovanni Corsello, Full Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Palermo and Editor in Chief of Del Paesen Journal of Pediatrics.
Article sources: Del Paesen Journal of Pediatrics
- health and children
- care and health of the newborn
- baby health