Italy Seeks Immediate Help From Foreigners For Its Healthcare


Doctors from Communist Cuba are frequently sent to South America, Asia, and Africa’s most urgent medical needs. Less so, though, for wealthy Europe.

The southern region of Calabria has struck a three-year agreement to bring in over 500 medical professionals from the Caribbean island to cope with a chronic staffing deficit, underscoring the challenges facing Italy’s health systems.

A cardiologist from Santiago de Cuba named Elizabeth Balbuena Delgado said, “I didn’t know Italy had a healthcare issue. She agreed to a short-term job offer in Locri, a beach community on Italy’s big toe.

“None of us had ever been to Europe,” Delgado remarked of the initial 51 Cuban immigrants who arrived in the most underdeveloped area of Italy in January.

Calabria is not the only region with a labour shortage. Staffing shortages across the country, according to Health Minister Orazio Schillaci, are “a real emergency”. He claimed that Italy needs to entice more foreign clinicians to its understaffed wards.

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On September 15, Schillaci said at a news conference that “we must reach agreements with foreign countries to have an adequate number of nurses.” He said that he was close to striking an agreement with India, which has hundreds of thousands of its nurses working overseas.

The health ministry of Italy refuses to offer more information. According to a top source in the Indian Health Ministry, a memorandum signed after Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni visited India in March considered allowing nurse and paramedic labour movement, including with language training.

The situation in Italian hospitals could swiftly worsen if immediate action is not taken.

Unions claim that by 2025, over a quarter of the 102,000 doctors employed by the public health service would be eligible for retirement, making it more and more difficult for administrators to maintain wards, clinics, and even entire hospitals.

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